NOTE: New video posting 1-19-18 from 9-6-14 of "Celebrate Philomath Volunteers" which was a community wide celebration of Philomath volunteers and service organizations. Go to this page and link to the video.


CPV has been running this ad in the Gazette-Times to encourage people to join a service club. Please click the ad to visit their website.


Philomath, the City of Volunteers, has a rich history of volunteerism.  Even before the city was faced with the stark reality that their principal source of employment was disappearing … a dozen Philomath area lumber mills have closed since 1980 … volunteers were working in the schools, mimeographing a local “newspaper,” organizing youth activities and sports, and promoting their town.

Beginning In 1985, Mayor and business owner Jack Kempees, followed by Mayor Jeannie Gay, PSD officials and a group of other civic-minded volunteers, David Vincent, Don Gist, Ted Gregg, Jeff Lamb, Larry Sleeman, Debbie Thorpe and many more community leaders got serious.  Pacific Power & Light supplied the funds necessary to come up with a visioning statement for the future and Philomath 2000 Project was created as a 501-C-3 non-profit.  They held meetings.  They talked to people and asked the big question, “What do you want to see Philomath be in the year 2000?”  The answers were definite.  “We don’t want to become just a suburb of Corvallis.”  “We want to have our own city government and do things OUR way!” 

 The vision became clear.  Philomath needed city parks.  It needed a civic center with a library, a police station and a city hall (and at one time they even envisioned a conference center).  It needed improved school buildings to educate their children.  It needed to upgrade its appearance with trees and attractive store fronts, paved streets and parking.  It needed a good water source and adequate sewers.  It needed the infrastructure to support growth and development. It needed to preserve its historic buildings.  But all this would require money and huge community effort.  This effort produced a visioning and conceptual site plan for a civic center by Eugene architect Gary Moye in 1987.

Philomath leaders went to work to apply for grants and to raise needed funds from Philomath residents.  The city captured the attention of the nation, and the Davis-Bacon Act of 1933 was amended for small-town community projects all over the nation.

Several families…Starkers, Clemens, Lagestees, Thompsons, Halls, Brandis’, Wilders, to mention a few... had built small fortunes in the timber industry between the depression days of the 1930s and the 1980s.  They opened their hearts and their wallets to Philomath and with important donations helped it develop.  But it wasn’t just those with money who caught the spirit of growth and volunteerism in Philomath.  Civic organizations and individuals took pride in participating in the many projects, programs and fundraisers that helped Philomath improve in a multitude of ways.

Today, the City of Philomath has few bonds that must be repaid.  Because it has not lived beyond the ability and desire of Philomath residents to pay for infrastructure and programs, Philomath taxes and utility bills are reasonable.  Its Mayor, City Council and City Manager are unified in their vision of a livable community.  Its citizens continue to volunteer, and over the years, volunteers have given tens of millions of dollars of added value to the Philomath community.

Let’s celebrate the achievements and the spirit of volunteerism that has made Philomath nationally known as the City of Volunteers.  On September 6 at the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo Grounds, Celebrate Philomath Volunteers” says THANK YOU to each and every volunteer who has donated time, labor and/or resources to make their community so livable.  Each of them deserves thanks and public recognition.

“Celebrate Philomath Volunteers”

 September 6, 2 to 7 p.m. at the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo Grounds,

is a day of appreciation and recognition,

of free food and fun

for each and every Philomath volunteer, along with their families and friends!

You’re invited!   Please don’t miss it!

“Celebrate Philomath Volunteers” is hosted by the Committee to Celebrate Philomath Volunteers under fiscal sponsorship of the Benton Community Foundation, and all donations are tax deductible (Tax ID # 93-6022916).


NOTE: CPV sent out emails to everybody that participated in the 9-6-14 B-B-Q and also put links to all of the communites service groups and organizations that depend on volunteers to help run their organizations. JRL

On behalf of the committee to Celebrate Philomath Volunteers and all of the service groups that participated, which included the many individuals that worked on everything from parking, to cooking, to serving the wonderful meal to all, we would not have been able to bring the community together without your support.  Attached is the full page thank you ad that the committee ran 10-1-14 acknowledging all of the organizations and people involved and we hope that you like the layout and exposure on the volunteer webpage.  Please go to the website to review the photo gallery, information and links to all of our community's service groups.  CPV is running ads until December 1st asking people to help their community by joining a service group.  That ad is also attached to this email and I would appreciate if you would share this information with everybody involved with your organization and anybody else interested.