Volunteer | Stage Assistant

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January 1, 2017 · by Events Team · Get Involved

Lights! Camera! Volunteer!  Prior to and during the program, we will need two to four sharp volunteers to ensure our honored guests, performers and presenters are prepared and ready.  These volunteers will also be point people for our audio-visual crew, ensuring everyone is in sync.

Volunteers for this role must be prepared to start at 4 pm on Saturday, May 14.  We request that stage assistant volunteers plan to also stay through check out at approximately 10:00 – 10:30 p.m.  Please note: the stage assistant volunteers will be needed during the program and may not be able to watch the performances.

Can you help?  Email our events staff and we’ll get you all the information you need!

Volunteer | Event Runner

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January 1, 2017 · by Events Team · Get Involved

During the raffle and auction, we will need 2-4 event runner volunteers to return raffle tracking and bid sheets to our registration volunteers.  The runner volunteers may also be needed during the program to ensure everything gets where its needed for the program to run smoothly.

Volunteers for this role must be prepared to start at 4 pm on Saturday, May 14.  We request that event runner volunteers plan to stay through check out at approximately 10:00 p.m.  The Event Runner Volunteers will be needed during the program but should be able to watch at least part of the performances and will be able to enjoy dinner with the gala guests.

Can you help?  Email our events staff and we’ll get you all the information you need!

January 1, 2017 · by Events Team · Get Involved

We’re looking for 4-10 volunteers (or more!) to help us close up shop at the end of the evening.  As many hands as possible will help ensure we’re cleaned up quickly!

Volunteers for this shift may be able to watch the program, but should plan to report for their shift no later than 7:00 p.m. on May 14.  Tear down volunteers should plan to work until clean up is complete, typically around 11:00 p.m.

Can you help?  Email our events staff and we’ll get you all the information you need!

Cupid Alexander | 2016 Gala Champion

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June 7, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured, Video

PCRI’s 2016 Dancing with the Stars Portland gala was a dazzling success, thanks to generous sponsors and guests … and to the stars who performed with Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s professional dancers. Check out champions Cupid Alexander and Jessi Aillon performing a West Coast swing.

May 25, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured

PCRI’s Fifth Annual Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala was the most successful gala yet, raising a record $104,500! The dancers delivered an amazing show and the event’s sponsors, volunteers and guests raised 25% more than ever before to support the affordable housing and services PCRI residents depend on.

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Following a packed reception, Nkenge Harmon-Johnson and Erious Johnson brought the event to life with an epic performance choreographed to “Staying Alive”. Emcee Chabre Vickers brought her personal connections to the work PCRI does.

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

The headlining entertainment of the evening, the Dancing with the Stars-style competition, was also one for the record books! Trained by and paired with professional dancers from Portland’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio, each dancing couple put on a spectacular show.

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

In the end, only one dance couple could be named champion and while Adrienne Nelson, Frank Taylor and reigning champion Pamela Weatherspoon had a tough decision, they named Cupid Alexander and Jessi Aillon this year’s winners.

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

But the evening isn’t just about a dance competition. Chabre Vickers and PCRI Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick celebrated the successes achieved by PCRI residents while underscoring the work that is still needed: to ensure all families have access to the benefits of stable, affordable housing in Portland’s opportunity-rich close-in neighborhoods. Led by auctioneer Kelly Russell, the gala’s live auction and special appeal were the most successful yet.

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Copyright 2016 (Photo by Cameron Browne)

Most notably, former resident and first-time homeowner Altia Wilkins described how the stability of PCRI’s affordable rental housing, support of PCRI’s resident services and her strong dedication enabled her to purchase the home where her grandkids have room to play. In addition, the equity she builds in her home will provide stability for her grandkids and future generations.

We extend a giant thank you to all our sponsors, contributors and guests as well as the fantastic volunteers who made the evening such an amazing success. If you’re not already signed up, be sure to join our mailing list to get news and invitations for next year’s gala, scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2017.

May 25, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured

Thanks to the generous outpouring of support from gala guests, sponsors, donors, and auction winners, the 5th Annual PCRI Gala raised nearly $105,000!  Special thanks goes to Ball Janik, whose sponsorship funds matched contributions from the first 30 donors during the paddle raise’s $100 level.


All of the funds raised by the gala go directly to enrich the affordable housing and resident service programs PCRI provides to help lower-income families achieve stability and self sufficiency.  After you check out the photos from Cameron Brown Photography from the evening’s program, be sure to show your love and support the donors of the evening’s live auction.

Donors for the 2015 PCRI gala include: Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Portland, ¿Por Qué No Taqueria?, Portland Hilton & Executive TowersTriMet, and others.

Click on any of the thumbnail images below to view the full-size photo. All photos copyright 2016 by Cameron Browne.

May 25, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured

Just as PCRI residents are working hard to achieve stability and self sufficiency, a dedicated team of professionals and volunteers invested remarkable time and energy to make the gala a success.  Special thanks to Event Cosmetics and Da:Da Hair Salon for their masterful work backstage.  PCRI’s 5th Annual Gala Benefit raised a record $104,500 to enrich the affordable housing and resident service programs that empower residents’ success. Check out these photos by Cameron Browne Photography from behind the scenes at the 2016 gala.

Click on any of the thumbnail images below to view the full-size photo. All photos copyright 2016 by Cameron Browne.

Dancers | 2016

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March 21, 2016 · by admin · 2016 Gala, Featured, Stars

2016 Gala DancersPCRI’s fifth annual Dancing with the Stars Gala will feature four prominent Portland community members (clockwise from top left): Cupid Alexander, Lori Medak, Mayra Arreola and Carla Bunting, each trained by and dancing with professionals from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Read on for more information about the competing dancers:

Cupid Alexander – Housing Program Specialist, Portland Housing Bureau

Cupid Alexander has a deep history in the Portland area’s housing organizations. He is currently a Housing Program Specialist for Portland Housing Bureau and the Vice President of Community Development for National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Cascade Chapter as well as serving as Secretary of the Pacific Northwest Regional Chapter. He serves as the Vice President of the Urban League’s Young Professionals, and is currently a board member of both the Trail Blazers make it better foundation Board of Professionals and the ReBuilding Center.  Prior to working for the Portland Housing Bureau, Cupid worked for the Washington County Department of Housing Services and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A former model, Cupid has been featured in national ad campaigns for Nike, Reebok, Columbia Sportswear, Nordstrom, Timberland and the publication “Cosmopolitan”. We couldn’t help but share one of his Nike ads, wondering if he’ll have next year’s bragging rights …

Cupid is a strong believer in community and economic empowerment. While we think he’ll be a natural, he nervously admits he may need the most help learning the dance, but says “I’m all in for the community, and PCRI is one of the agencies that houses many and does good work.”

Cupid is a proud graduate of Wilson High School and attended Western Oregon University, Fisk University, and Warner Pacific College were he was a collegiate basketball player and earned a Business degree. He additionally attended Portland State University where he earned both a graduate degree in Real Estate Development, and a Masters in Public Administration.

Lori Medak – Vice President, Manager, Commercial Group, Fidelity National Title, Portland

Lori Medak is the Vice President and Manager of the Commercial Group for Fidelity National Title, Portland. Passionate about closing commercial real estate transactions including many affordable housing developments, Lori has closed all product types with a wide range of complexity in more than 19 years in the title and escrow services profession. With a tremendous amount of experience in multisite, multistate portfolios, tax credit and bond financing structured transactions, she uses this experience in teaching classes for commercial clients to ensure smooth and successful closings.

In addition to her designation as a Certified Escrow Officer through the Oregon Escrow Council, she is proactive in working to provide value to clients with Fidelity’s business development and client service organizations. She believes in the strength of her branch and its team.

She enjoys all athletic activities, watching college football and basketball, wine tasting, walking, and spending time with family including her son. A native Portland resident, she studied finance at Linfield College in McMinnville.

Mayra Arreola – Director of Community Collaborations & Investment, United Way of the Columbia Willamette

Mayra Arreola is the Director of Community Collaborations & Investment for the United Way of the Columbia Willamette. She leads UWCW’s efforts to make community impact a reality by managing investments, building critical relationships, understanding needs and opportunities, fostering collaborations across sectors and giving United Way a visible presence across our four county region.

Previous to her role at UWCW, Mayra worked in rural communities across the state of Oregon focusing in community building through leadership development and small business enterprise primarily with the rural Latino population.

Mayra holds a Master in Public Administration by Portland State University and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of Oregon, a council member of the Oregon Housing Stability Council with the Oregon Housing & Community Services State Agency, a member of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME) Advisory Board, member of the Strategy Team for Social Venture Partners Portland and a member of the Latina Associates for Collaborative Endeavors (LACE) with the Non Profit Association of Oregon.

Carla Bunting – Teacher, Mill Park Elementary School

Carla Bunting is an elementary school teacher at Mill Park Elementary in the David Douglas School District. She specializes in working with students for whom English is a second language. She was the winning bidder in the live auction during the 2015 gala, earning her a spot in the competition for the 2016 Dancing with the Stars Portland championship. At left, Carla and husband Phil Bunting grace the 2015 event’s red carpet.

Carla and her three sisters were all cheerleaders in high school. While she hasn’t danced since then, her favorite TV shows are So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars. Originally from Long Beach California, Carla attended California State University Long Beach and moved to Portland with her husband and two children in 2008. She enjoys snowboarding, theater, traveling and the great outdoors.

We’re thankful for Carla’s help making past gala’s a roaring success and we’re looking forward to seeing her moves on the dance floor at this year’s gala!

Fred Astaire of Portland | Sponsor

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January 2, 2016 · by Events Team · 2012 Gala, 2013 Gala, 2014 Gala, 2015 Gala, Featured, Our Sponsors

PCRI is delighted to partner for a fifth year with Fred Astaire Dance Studio as our dance partner for the Dancing with the Stars Portland gala!  Our dancing stars will train at the Fred Astaire Studio and Fred Astaire Portland’s professional dancers will be the dance partners for our stars at the gala.

Mr. Fred Astaire, an American icon, wanted to establish a chain of studios under his name to make sure that his techniques would be preserved and passed onto the public. Mr. Astaire was instrumental in the choice of dance curriculum and instructional techniques. With the opening of the first Fred Astaire Studio on Park Avenue in New York City, Fred Astaire brought his immense talent out of the glamor of Hollywood and onto the dance floors of America and the world.

If you’re thinking about learning to dance, brushing up your technique, or preparing for a wedding or special event, please come into the Fred Astaire Portland Studio. Fred Astaire of Portland offers dance instruction, exciting parties, and the opportunity to meet new people in a fun-filled setting.

You can purchase tickets here for the gala on May 14 and join the conversation on Twitter using #PCRIgala.

FAQ: Is there parking available?

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January 1, 2016 · by Events Team · 2016 Gala, FAQ

PCRI’s Dancing with the Stars Portland Gala will be held at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower , which is conveniently located near MAX and TriMet bus stops.  If you prefer to drive, Hilton Portland offers valet parking at their regular rates, or self parking is available in the garage at 545 SW Taylor Street, just around the corner from the Hilton.

Still have questions?  Send an email to our events team!

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