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Festival Selects Distinguished Oregonian as Grand Marshal for Keybank Grand Floral Parade

The Portland Rose Festival visited Sisters High School in Sisters, Oregon today to announce that Jack McGowan (former head of SOLV) has been selected the 2009 Grand Marshal for the KeyBank Grand Floral Parade. Mayor Lon Kellstrom — along with school and city dignitaries –joined the Festival in paying tribute to the man who has helped keep Oregon one of the nation’s most livable states!

“This year’s Rose Festival theme is Bridging Communities,” said Robert Hansen, President of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. “As Jack has shown us, not only does this mean reaching out to our neighbors, but with our neighbors we can build a bridge to a cleaner and healthier world for the future.”

“Jan and I feel this is the icing on the cake after leading SOLV for 18 years and a great partnership with the Rose Festival, which continues to give to all Oregonians,” said McGowan. “It is all of our responsibility to make Oregon a little bit better.”

From 1990-2008, Jack and his wife Jan were Co-Directors of SOLV. During their tenure the McGowans managed SOLV’s expansion from a staff of one to 26 — and its budget from $28,000 to approximately $2.2 million. Volunteer engagements grew from 3,000 to an average of 80,000 per year represented in over 250 Oregon communities. SOLV is now considered the largest volunteer non-profit organization in the Pacific Northwest.

Because of the McGowan’s historical contribution to the state of Oregon, fans will see the Grand Marshal car placed a little further back in the parade as they lead the ‘Our Oregon – Bridging Centuries’ section down the 4.2 mile route. In 2006 the University of Oregon presented Jack McGowan with the Distinguished Service Award. He also has been honored with ‘Oregon Statesman of the Year’ in 2003 and ‘Portland First Citizen’ in 2006.