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2019 Light A Fire

Nov 21, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR

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Event Summary



Every year, Portland Monthly shines a light on the individuals and organizations dedicated to improving our communities—in our magazine’s pages and in a gala award ceremony. This is our 15th year of Light a Fire: We’ve been collecting nominations since December 2018 for outstanding people and organizations doing important and inspiring work to make our city and state better for everyone.

Now’s our chance to celebrate the winners, selected by a panel of the region’s top foundation, corporate-giving, and nonprofit leaders. Join us for a night of heartwarming and humbling stories in recognition of the dedication of these incredible nonprofits and the people who make them work.

Oregon Convention Center

777 Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
Portland, OR 97232

Event Details

Portland Monthly's 15th Annual Light a Fire awards dinner and celebration embraces the spirit of giving, inspiring, creating, and changing our city for the better.

Find inspiration at our event, as you hear the stories of this year's honorees. 

6:00 pm | Cocktail Social 

7:00 pm | Dinner, Awards & Entertainment 

9:00 pm | Drinks & Dancing Light a Fire after-party presented by Bank of America

Spectacular acts of generosity deserve a spectacular evening! Guests can expect a crafted evening of surprises, beautiful cocktail pairings, wine, a three-course plated dinner, desserts and more. 



2019 Light a Fire Award Winners

Inspiring Creativity: Music Workshop 

Caring for the Planet: Columbia Land Trust

Award presented by Cambia Health Solutions
Leveling the Field: 
The Women’s Foundation of Oregon

Most with the Least: Oregon Safe Schools 

Game-Changing Project: Meals on Wheels People / The Diner, Vancouver

Award presented by Fournier Group
Best New Nonprofit: 
The Immigrant Story

Exceptional Community Contribution: KairosPDX

Award presented by Bank of America 
Extraordinary Volunteer: 
Debi Hays, Guide Dogs for the Blind

Award presented by AWS Elemental
Extraordinary Board Member: 
Becky Blumer, Store to Door

Award presented by NW Natural
Extraordinary Executive Director: Shari Dunn, Dress for Success

Award presented by Jason Mendell, Cascade Sotheby's International Realty
Young Leader: Margarita Gutierrez Lemus, College Possible

Portland Monthly's
Lifetime Achievement: Rupert Kinnard



What to wear? 

It's an evening cocktail event so if you happen to own a suit or formal dress waiting at the back of your closet, feel free to flaunt them! Dinner jackets, cocktail dresses, or polos would also be cool. Think "cocktail party" and wear whatever comes to mind. But most importantly, come in an ensemble that makes you feel awesome! 



Get involved

What better way to give back to the nonprofits but to volunteer for an event celebrating them! If you would like to help with Light a Fire on November 21st please contact us at 


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