In addition to a formal recognition as Volunteer of the Quarter, Lebanon resident Phil Worthington was also informally dubbed an “honorary Keizerite” by Mayor Cathy Clark during his award presentation at the Aug. 1 City Council session.
Worthington has been a volunteer in and around Keizer for more than 20 years, working primarily with St. Edward Catholic Church and Farm to Family, but also being available to almost any organization or person with a need. In recent years, he has become a fixture at the Keizer Community Dinner, which often feeds more than 600 Keizer residents, free-of-charge, on the fourth Wednesday of each month.
His nomination packet for the award included testimonials from his fellow volunteers as well as random people he has touched with his generosity, such as Gloria Bremer, who shared a story of how she met Worthington while he was tracking down a deaf man in order to bring him supplies through Farm to Family.
“I’m very thankful there are people like Phil who go the extra mile,” wrote Bremer in her letter to the council.
Worthington also managed a regional Federal Food Boxes distribution in 2020 and 2021 during the COVID pandemic, earning praise for his work getting more than 1,300 food boxes delivered weekly to families who were shut-in due to risk of exposure.
Despite earning a standing ovation at the council meeting, Worthington pointed out that he was only one of many volunteers, and his skills just happen to coincide with a need he saw in the community.
“I came to Oregon as a restaurant manager,” he said as he accepted the award. “I love volunteering and I can’t believe the opportunities I’ve been able to have working with St. Edwards, but this award that you’re giving me, that you think I’m so deserving of, it’s about the people that I work with. I’m only as good as the people I work with.”