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Serendipity Center is terribly saddened by the passing of ex-officio board member and former board chair Stephen B. Carter. The longtime vice president of special projects at The Standard served on our board from 2003-2012. Steve was an enduring and stabilizing force for many years and truly connected with the mission of Serendipity Center. During his tenure he was integral in completing our first capital campaign, Building for Success, which ultimately led to the construction of our new upper school and administrative buildings; completed in 2011.

Steve was known to all as an incredibly generous, kind, and caring man who had a natural love of mentorship and service. As stated in his obituary published in The Oregonian, “Steve excelled in business and volunteerism; he was an absolute champion when it came to friendships and having fun. An engaging conversationalist with a good sense of humor, he brightened the lives of all who knew him.”

Today, Stephen Carter’s legacy of service and generosity lives on. Following his passing Steve’s family has announced the Stephen Carter Scholarship Fund of Serendipity Center. This fund will be dedicated to funding scholarships for Serendipity graduates seeking independence. We are honored and grateful for all of Steve’s contributions to Serendipity Center during his many years and the contributions he continues to make. When Steve joined Serendipity’s board of directors in 2003 he wrote on his application that he was “energized by the mission and staff of Serendipity.” Now for many years to come Serendipity’s graduating classes will feel “energized” about their futures thanks to Stephen Carter.

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On the evening of Wednesday, June 22nd, families, teachers, friends and staff joined together to celebrate the graduation of Serendipity’s class of 2016. This year’s class included ten seniors, one of Serendipity’s largest classes ever. The monumental occasion is the first step toward independence for many of our students and we were pleased to award seven seniors with scholarships toward achieving their independence goals. The event featured presentations from Executive Director, Belinda Marier, Principal, Megan Wilson, and Treatment Director, Jackie Trussell – as well as an address from Serendipity Board of Directors member, Tim Ullom.

Thank you to all of the families and friends in attendance there to support and celebrate with our grads, TTIP teacher Brenda and the graduation committee for organizing the ceremony, and everyone who made the evening so special for our graduates. Good luck class of 2016! We know you will do great things.

Today Serendipity students and staff explored the sights and sounds of Oregon Zoo! For the second year in a row both upper school and lower school students were invited to get up close and personal with all of the exotic animals and spent the afternoon learning about geography, climates, habitats and lots more. Serendipity would like to thank lower school teacher Tyler for his dedication and hard work to once again spearhead organizing this field trip. We would also like to thank the Oregon Zoo for making our visit enjoyable and informational for all of our students, we hope to be back next year!

Serendipity will be sending out a quarterly newsletter with news and updates highlighting different areas of our program and upcoming events. Click the banner below to stay up to date with us! We will also periodically be sending “Serendipity Minute” videos to share with you. Thanks for signing up.

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On Thursday, April 28th Serendipity Center held it’s annual benefit event Pearls of Hope. With our deepest and most sincere gratitude, Serendipity Center would like to thank all of those who attended Pearls of Hope this year. The generous support of our community partners is the foundation of Serendipity Center’s success. This year Pearls of Hope raised over $137,000! Thank you to our 2016 special appeal sponsor The Standard, as well as all of our empowerment, cornerstone, auction item donors and other sponsors. Special thanks to Tony Martinez, our long-time event master of ceremonies and this year’s special appeal host. Pearls of Hope is made possible by your support and belief in the Serendipity mission.

On Thursday, February 11th Serendipity Center celebrated Valentine’s Day a few days early with school dance! Students of all ages were able to boogie and have fun dancing with their classmates. Thank you to the Serendipity student council for organizing the event and decorating our cafeteria. Also thank you to all the staff members who worked hard to make sure all students had a fun and safe afternoon before our mini-break.

Our very special friends from Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas, Rojo and Napoleon visited Serendipity Center today along with two producers from CNN! They will be featured in a segment for the series, Vital Signs, hosted by Sanjay Gupta. The show will focus on the positive effect animals and pets can have on our overall health. At Serendipity, it’s clear that every time Rojo and his friends visit the collective spirit of our students and staff is raised.

We would like to thank Lori Gregory and Shannon Hendrickson for always supporting Serendipity, and for letting us be apart of your very special moment in the spotlight.

Serendipity Center would like to thank our invaluable community partners for the outpouring of love and support we received this holiday season. Without your support Serendipity Center would be unable to fulfill the need of supplementing our families over the two week break. We would like to recognize a number of organizations and individuals who made in-kind donations of warm winter clothing, food bags, and classroom gifts for all of our students this year!

Thank you to Central East Portland Rotary and St. Joseph the Worker church for providing many food bags for our families over the holidays. Thank you Pricewaterhouse Coopers Tax Team, Glendoveer Golf and Tennis, and Nike for brightening our student’s holiday season by fulfilling classroom gift requests. Also thank you to our long list of individuals who made donations over the holiday season and wonderful board of directors for being so involved and invested in our student’s futures. Please read the list of December donors below.

2015 December Donors: Richard Abrahamson; Jeff & Bess Austin; Judith Baldwin; Jeff Benzinger; Bill & Margaret Bitar Foundation; Amy Blake; Mike & Lynn Buchanan; Anne Chamness; Norm & Cathy Dull; Employees Community Fund of Boeing; Bettianne & Al Goetz; Gresham Ford; Jenee & Jonathan Hilliard; Harriet Jackson; Bonnie Jepsen; Madeline Jepson; Mark Kummerer; Dr. Thuy-Trang Lam; Peter Mahoney; Mediaworks; OCF Josephn E. Weston Public Foundation; ONPOINT Community CU; Gail & Alan Pasternack; PEO Chapter DB; Melvyn & Margie Rieff; Ulysses & Narda Sherman; The Kinsman Foundation; Beverly Thomas; Dianne & Gary Wells; Mark Wharry; Ben & Elaine Whiteley; Debra Wright; Dale Farr; Greg Wolleck; Jane Potter; Robert Carus; Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign

Serendipity Center was recently awarded a $2500.00 grant from the Kinsman Foundation! The local Milwaukie, Oregon non-profit unexpectedly selected Serendipity as a recipient, and we are grateful for their generosity. Kinsman Foundation began awarding grants in 2003 in the areas of historic preservation, arts & culture, and health care policy, and have continued to be a beacon of philanthropy in Oregon. We thank them for their anonymous selection.

Click here for more information about the Kinsman Foundation.

On Saturday, Novemeber 21st Serendipity Center was named the benefit non-profit at the 525 Design Pop-Up Shop. The pop-up shop hosted and organized by Nike employees is an annual event that showcases the talents of Nike’s employees. Items for sale ranged from jewelry to screen printed posters to leather goods. As the benefiting non-profit, 10% of all vendor sales were donated to Serendipity Center! We would like to thank Cayle and Golanz of amrikaii for bringing this awesome opportunity to Serendipity (pictured below). At the event Serendipity sold prints made by our students and art therapist Arianna and hosted an informational booth explaining our mission and services. Thank you Nike,  Team 525, Cayle & Golnaz, and Fanny Ho for supporting Serendipity Center.

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