CASA of Polk County

In 1977, Judge David Soukup of Seattle realized that there was no one in the courtroom whose only job was to provide a voice for the child. He was consumed by the fact that very little information was provided about the child and didn’t know if he was doing the best job he could. He believed that volunteers, properly trained, could speak for the children and give judges better insight into the facts pertaining to the child. Through his efforts the first volunteer guardian “ad litem” program was established, which later became known as CASA.

The core components of Judge Soukup’s pilot program are essentially the same today: judges appoint selected, well-trained volunteers to represent the best interests of children in court. CASA volunteers typically handle just one or two cases at a time so they can provide in-depth, first-hand documented information to judges, attorneys, and social workers to assist in sound decision making.

In 1987, the Oregon Legislature mandated that all abused and neglected children in Oregon should have a CASA and two pilot programs were started. This mandate requires the CASA to investigate, advocate, facilitate and negotiate, and monitor.

Through volunteers, CASA of Polk County advocates for abused and neglected children who need safe and permanent homes. CASA volunteers are a caring and consistent adult presence for abused and neglected children facing multiple challenges, a CASA volunteer may be the one constant adult presence in their lives. Advocates stay with each case until it is closed and the child is placed in a safe, permanent home.

CASA programs use effective evidence-based practices to help support these children. Independent studies have established that a child with a CASA volunteer is more likely to find a safe and permanent home; more likely to be adopted; half as likely to re-enter foster care; and substantially less likely to spend time in long-term foster care than children without a CASA volunteer.

CASA is preparing for their 3rd Annual CASA of Polk County Golf Tournament “Fore” Kids. All proceeds for the event will go to the children that CASA works with. It will take place at Cross Creek Golf Course on June 30th. We hope that even if you don’t play you will come down to support the event, the players, and the kids.

Oregon State Credit Union

Dallas High School seniors Natalia Schilling and Ryan Bibler are two of ten recipients of Oregon State Credit Union’s Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) scholarships of $2,000 each.

The credit union annually awards $20,000 divided evenly among ten local high school senior members of the credit union attending an in-state college or university this fall. The annual TLT scholarship program honors high school seniors with not only academic excellence, but also community engagement within the Credit Union’s 4,400 ten members. Over the last 20 years, 201 students have received more than $220,000 in assistance toward their college educations. These students are all from the Credit Union’s 24-county field of membership.

Schilling will be attending Oregon State University with five other TLT scholarship winners, while Bibler joins one other recipient opting for Western Oregon University.

To learn more about Oregon State Credit Union scholarships, grants, and community education, contact Mike Corwin at 541-714-4286 or

Oregon State Credit Union all started with a shoebox and $25. In 1954, Bob Coyle, an Associate Professor of Agriculture at the then Oregon State College (now Oregon State University), and founded Oregon State Credit Union to serve the unmet financial needs of faculty. With an initial $25 start-up fund kept in a shoe-box, he originally ran the credit union from his desk in Snell Hall (now Ballard Extension Hall).

Now, Oregon State Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative, open to anyone who lives or works in 24 western and central Oregon counties. Mr. Coyle’s philosophy is also still at work today: “Your credit union is in business for one purpose only – to serve the needs of its members.” Earnings are returned to members in the form of competitive financial offerings, more service, and convenience. For additional information about Oregon State Credit Union is available at

Congratulations to Natalia Schilling and Ryan Bibler for winning such an excellent scholarship! Thank you to Oregon State Credit Union for making such opportunities possible!


Welcome New Members

We at the Chamber of Commerce are pleased to welcome three new members: Tomas Patton, White Oak Construction, and Yolanda Zuger.

Tomas Patton was born and raised mostly in South America, and as such had the privilege of experiencing a variety of cultures, languages, and places. After having lived in five different state in the U.S.A, he arrived in Oregon in 1983 to attend college. Once in this beautiful state, it was clear that this was where he would remain to finish his higher education, receiving both his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Western Oregon University. His work experience has been varied, starting out in landscaping, and transitioning to law enforcement, first in Hillsboro then in Independence. He finished up in the public sector with eighteen years in teaching; two years at the high school level and sixteen years in middle school. Dallas and its surrounds have figured into a large part of his life while working for the Independence Police Department, when he coached Boys JV Soccer team for Dallas High School, and since his family moved to Dallas in 2000. In 2015, he opened an insurance agency with Farmers Insurance Group. After nearly three years of valuable experience there, he joined Allstate, and on December 1st he had the privilege of opening his own Allstate agency in Ellendale Plaza.

White Oak Construction is a full service general contractor based in Salem, Oregon. Specializing in commercial and industrial construction, they are committed to providing high quality and cost effective construction services to achieve customer satisfaction. Whether it’s new construction, adaptive reuse and remodeling, or tenant improvements, they are proud of their ability to meet completion dates without compromising safety, cost, or quality of construction.

Yolanda Zuger has lived in Polk County with her husband and a variety of critters since 1966. She made the Central Willamette Valley her base for business because of her familiarity with the area and the beauty the Valley holds. She is a member of the Polk County Association of Realtors and have held the posts of Executive Officer, President and Director. Yolanda is also a graduate of the Oregon & Washington Association of Realtors “Leadership Northwest” program. Committed to continuing education and the use of technology in her business to offer the highest value to her clients she recently moved her Real Estate License to Keller Williams. Yolandas mission statement is simple. “Clients come first. I pledge to be in constant communication with my clients, keeping you fully informed throughout the entire buying or selling process. I believe that if you’re not left with an amazing experience, I haven’t done my job. I don’t measure success through achievements or awards, but through the satisfaction of my clients.”

Welcome Tomas Patton, White Oak Construction, and Yolanda Zuger. We are pleased to have you both as Chamber members and as a part of the community!


Avoiding Cain and Abel Probates

At last week’s Wake Up Wednesday Stan Butterfield announced some exciting news. Butterfield chose this meeting to launch his new book titled “Avoiding Cain and Abel Probates” The local attorney told the gathering that it is hard to find a family that has not had a fight over a will or something as seemingly innocuous as who will get Grandma’s cookie jar. Butterfield wrote the book to help families pan and prepare in such a way that these kinds of fights never start in the first place. Butterfield said, “The number of families that have become fractured or estranged by inheritance fights is staggering.”

The book draws on Butterfield’s own family experiences, as well as conflicts he has observed during the course of his legal career. The book focuses on the idea that the sentimental personal property that is left behind is usually the reason for these fights; no money as most people expect. Butterfield emphasizes the importance of people taking the time to designate who will receive particular pieces of personal property, a part of estate planning that, according to Butterfield, is often just glossed over.

The attendees learned that the book is short, and written as a layman’s self-help guide to assist people in making the most of estate planning they have already completed or to be more knowledgeable when they sit down with an estate planning attorney for the very first time.

Butterfield is in private practice in Dallas and his firm focuses on elder law, which includes such areas as estate planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships. Butterfield is well known in Polk County as the former elected District Attorney and currently serves as the Independence Municipal Court Judge.

The book is published by Scissorbill Books and is distributed by Kindle Direct Publishing a division of Amazon Books. “Avoiding Cain and Abel Probates” is available both in paperback and ebook, and can be purchased through Amazon.

“You have the power to keep you family from fighting over your estate!

Families fighting over estates; it’s so common that it is hard to find someone who has not been impacted by these types of conflicts. Hurt feelings, estrangement, and alienation of family members often happen after an estate fight in a family that previously was close and harmonious.

In this book you will learn:

  • Why these estate fights occur
  • How the right kind of estate planning prevents fights
  • How to anticipate conflicts and nip them in the bud
  • How to turn potential fights into opportunities to express love
  • What can be done to strengthen family ties with your estate

Keep your family from fighting – buy this book today!”

Polk Veterinary Clinic

Our pets are family members, many of us calling them our furry babies. When something goes wrong with them it can be a scary experience. If your furry family member is expecting a surgery and you are wanting something local then let us introduce you to Polk Veterinary Clinic.

Polk Veterinary Clinic is a full service animal hospital. While they are committed to providing quality veterinary care throughout your pets life they are just as committed seeing you through those scary emergencies. Their goal is to practice the highest quality medicine and surgery with compassion and an emphasis on client education. Polk Veterinary Clinic is available to answer questions concerning an upcoming surgery or providing access to their pet library.

Together their staff have over 25 years of experience, and carry a passion to care for our furry babies as if they were their own. They are a close team, but always have room for more. Polk Veterinary Clinic also provides opportunities for local college students to gain work experience, whether welcoming clients or interning and observing.

However, if you are like me you want to read reviews before thrusting a family member into the chaos of preparing for a medical procedure. Here are some testimonials from clients.

“Dr. Brotherton is one of the most down-to-earth professionals I have ever experienced. I have complete confidence in her integrity. All our animals have received very good care for reasonable cost. She has weathered through our many “storms” of “dog-drama” with empathy, compassion and realistic solutions.”

“We couldn’t be happier with the care and service we have received at Polk Vet Clinic! We came here on a fluke when we needed a vet open on a Saturday, and immediately transferred all our animals to her. We appreciate the upfront pricing, Dr. Brotherton has always been up front and honest and asks permission before doing anything! Most recently we brought our

kitten in for a spay, and then turned around 30 minutes later to bring our pregnant boxer in for an emergency C-section. Dr. Brotheron moved mountains to accommodate this emergency and saved our 8 puppies!”

Made in Dallas Oregon USA – MAK Grills

MAK Grills Whiskey Grilling Sauce recently came into 2nd place in the largest barbecue sauce competition on the planet. Out of 134 entries in the Mild Tomato Barbecue Sauce Category, MAK’s Whiskey Grilling sauce came in second in the category. The American Royal Barbecue Sauce competition has been held annually since 1987. This year, 388 different sauces in 5 categories were entered into the contest.

In overall rankings, MAK’s Whiskey Grilling Sauce was 12th out of 388 sauces entered.

In April, MAK Grills 1 Star General model was awarded Best Backyard Smoker by Grills are selected based on quality, features, performance and value. This is the 6th year in a row that the 1 Star has been included in this who’s who of barbecue listing. is the most visited barbecue website in the world getting more than 1 million page views each month. For cooking suggestions or to see a MAK Grill in action you can log onto their website,, or Facebook page, and watch their cooking videos.

MAK Grills is headquartered in Dallas and since 2009 has been manufacturing an award-winning line up of high quality pellet grills. One look at a MAK grill and you will instantly see they are miles ahead of the competition on quality and innovative features. MAK Grills is owned by a veteran husband and wife team who firmly believe in buying and selling American-made products and providing earning wage jobs for employees. They are the most award winning grill manufacturer in the country. There are MAK Grill owners in EVERY state of the Union.

Congratulations MAK Grills on your award winning Whiskey Grilling Sauce. I can’t wait to try some!

“As an owner, I love the results and use the MAK nearly every weekend outside even during the winter months to smoke pork butts, brisket, and ribs, or to grill fish, burgers, chicken, tenderloins, etc. Thank you for making such a high quality product.”

“I am very impressed with the packaging of the MAK and the shipping company you used. Both are top notch. My other grill is a Primo. I purchased the MAK to do long cooks so that I can have more free time. I really enjoy the ease of cooking on this pellet grill.”

Zen Thai & Sushi

Today is Eat What You Want Day and to me that means something healthy and tasty. Zen Thai & Sushi is one of Dallas’ go-to restaurants.

Many in Dallas were cautiously optimistic when news of this restaurant’s impending opening reached us. Many of us love Thai and sushi but are not always willing to make the trip to another town to get it. However, finding good authentic food can be a challenge. And Dallas, we have not been disappointed.

Recently opened the beginning of 2017 Zen Thai & Sushi has gained the support of the community quickly. Ranked 4.9 on Facebook, and 3 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor many of their customers leave with a nice full stomach, and a happy pallet.

Zens new website is now up and running with a full menu display. They are happy to announce that they also now serve alcohol with a happy hour special added to their weekly specials.

Go in and try them for yourselves. I recommend the Pad Thai and Spring Rolls.

“The food is always delicious, and the servers are friendly. Personally, you can have the best food in the world but if your staff is rude I won’t be back, and vice versa. We continue to come back to Zen Thai & Sushi on a regular basis.”

“We stopped by randomly on our way home to Portland and so glad we did. The severs were friendly and attentive and the food was amazing! Who would have thought that a small town like Dallas, OR would have cuisine like this. If your passing by I highly recommend Zen, it’s a hidden gem!”


MV Advancements

In November of 1985, Terry started working at Western Oregon University as an assistant to the grounds crew to keep the campus clean. He was introduced to this job through the Central School District as part of a “basic life skills” class he was a part of. Over the many years Terry has worked with WOU, he has developed natural supports in his life and has continued his work with WOU working closely with his original supervisor that hired him. Andrew Wallace, Terry’s job coach from MV Advancements, has been working with Terry for over the past 4 years to help him successfully reach his personal goals and fade from coaching. As of April 1st Terry is independent and successfully employed in the community.

For more than 50 years MV Advancements has helped adults with disabilities through innovative approaches and caring responsive staff. This allows them to serve hundreds of clients through an ever-evolving set of services. In Employment Services, they match business needs with individuals’ strengths and capacities, resulting in a long-term win-win for both the employer and the employee. In Residential and Community Inclusion, they support individuals to meet and exceed their own personal goals of growth and development so they can live a fulfilling life.

MV Advancements is overseen by a dedicated group of community members, business leaders, and educators. The board’s vision is to continue to honor the intentions of their founder and pioneer Margaret Reavis Larsen.

Founded in 1966 by Margaret Reavis Larsen as Mid-Valley Workshop, their primary focus was job-training. Under Margaret’s guidance, care and leadership Mid-Valley Workshop expanded its services to include housing and community activity programs. In 1993 the organization was renamed as Mid-Valley Rehabilitation to reflect this breadth of services.

If you would like to get involved with MV Advancements there are several ways you can volunteer or give. Their volunteer program has three tiers with different aims. Ambassadors who work to increase their network in the community. Mission volunteers spend time regularly engaging with MV Advancements through tailor-made experiences. Finally, Legacy volunteers who give one on one interaction with supported individuals. Volunteers are also needed for instructing or assisting, reading tutors or those willing to participate in a scheduled reading time with active listeners, chaperones, or simply people to help organize and support fundraising efforts and community events. If you are interested in volunteering, donating or assisting in any way we encourage you to contact MV Advancements.

MV Advancements has recently pitched their expansion plan with the hopes of better being able to serve our community as well as others in need. Good luck MV Advancements, we look forward to hearing about what you’ll be doing next.

Lost Sock Memorial Day

It’s time. You’ve held on to them in hopes that their partner would come back, but today we accept the inevitable. It’s time to say goodbye to all of the single socks, the ones where their mates have been lost to the unknown.

Where do all the missing socks go? Is there a washing machine heaven? Perhaps within the washer, there is some form of strange Kraken like creature that exists that eats them, and only left one? Is there some kind of vortex created within the whirl of hot air and tumbling wet clothes that exists within the dryer? These are the questions that people have been trying to solve for many centuries. An answer may never be found to this problem, and life will go on. How sad to have lost such a close-knit friend!

Of course, since before the dawn of Tupperware, inventors have attempted the prevention of such separation anxiety. Alas, if they had succeeded mismatched socks wouldn’t be popular today and we wouldn’t have National Sock Memorial Day. The history stretches back through the history of knitted footwear through every culture and nation until it finally disappears at the most glorious (and yet soon to be vexing) moment when the first pair of socks were created. The first Lost Sock Memorial Day was held two days later when Og failed to find the sock his cave mother-in-law knitted for him, doubtless, it had been eaten by a mammoth. No matter how hard you try to keep pairs of socks together, invariably one of them ventures out into the netherworld never to be found again.

Now is the time to let go and move on. Clean out all of your left behind socks. Make sock puppets or recycle those old socks by reusing them as dust rags! Create a sock bouquet! Place them on the bottom of chairs, and tables to prevent scratching during moving or rearranging. Cut apart and use as tie strips for the garden. Have a moment of silence for all the socks you have lost, then spend the day making sock monkeys. Give them a new life and get creative!

Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub

Congratulations to Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub! We are so excited to announce that they have won in 2018 Best of the Mid-Valley Awards! However, they won not one award but NINE awards in total!

Washington Street Steakhouse won Gold in Best Dallas Bar, Best Dallas Restaurant, Best Reason to Visit Dallas, and our own Melanie Woods won Gold in Best Local Server. They also took home Silver in Best Steak and Bronze in Best Burger. But let’s not forget the faces behind these delicious meals. Barbara Witham won Best Local Server as well. Adam Hoefler was awarded Best Local Chef, as our taste buds will attest to, and Mary Hoefler won Best Local Bartender.

Washington Street Steakhouse has been a cornerstone member of our community for years. They are a restaurant that still manages to bring home that small town feeling. As shown above, they put an emphasis not only on serving great food, but serving it with delightful customer service. They also try to incorporate local businesses when possible, like serving Eola Hills wines!

If you would like a chance to indulge in some wonderful cooking, and wonderful people then they have a few events coming up for you to take advantage of. This Sunday is Mother’s Day! If cooking isn’t your strong suit then enjoy a meal with them, no reservations necessary. They will even be giving out free flowers to mom while supplies last! If your Mother’s Day plans are already made then visit them July 21st for their 19th Anniversary Luau Party. The party will last from 6am till 11pm!

One customer had this to say:

“My wife and I were looking for a lunch stop in Dallas when she saw this place as we drove by. I’m glad we stopped as this place rocks.  My wife had the turkey wrap which was huge. She said it was very good and fresh. I had the corned beef hash breakfast. I’m kind of a connoisseur when it comes to corned beef hash. This place by far makes the best CBH I have ever eaten. Not from the can here!  Let’s not forget the great homemade biscuit. Yum!  The service was great so we will be back!”