The McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the 2014 Biggest Turkey Candidates.  The Kick Off Breakfast wasn’t an April Fools joke either, though some jokes about the contestants were thrown around in good fun.  Over 50 people gathered at 7:30 in the morning to meet the contestants and learn more about the sponsoring organisations.  The Elks Lodge cooked a great meal and were fantastic hosts, many thanks to the volunteers that got up early to feed us all!

Now we’re happy to announce the organizations joining the festivities for the 2014 Biggest Turkey competition, and their corresponding candidates.  Introducing ………..

Homeward Bound Pets Adoption Shelter
Candidate: Madison Chandler Ranche

Madisen Chandler Ranche

Homeward Bound Pets is a no kill animal shelter, dedicated to providing shelter and care with compassion, dignity and love to dogs and cats until they are able to find their forever home.  They also work hard to educate the community on animal care and run a successful spay/neuter clinic to aid in the fight to end animal homelessness.

Madison was born and raised in McMinnville. She is currently a student at Chemeketa CC and studying to become a veterinarian.  She also works part time at Homeward Bound Pets as an animal care provider. Madison hopes to bring awareness to the community about the great work Homeward Bound Pets Adoption Shelter does and all of the wonderful programs they offer.

Henderson House
Candidate: Marivel Ortiz

Marivel Ortiz

Henderson House provides life-saving services, outreach, support groups, education in our schools, & advocacy for victims of domestic, sexual & dating violence since 1981. We achieve this by providing culturally aware outreach, we encourage leadership and promote change in our society to end oppression in all forms of violence against our most vulnerable neighbors. We ask you to stand up and say “NO MORE”.

For the past 5 years, Marivel has been the Bilingual Outreach Advocate at Henderson House. She is very passionate about ending violence of any kind and believes anyone can be successful in life and wants to help in any way she can.  Marivel’s number one priority is her family and never misses a game or school event for any of her 3 children. She enjoys working out and teaching at McMinnville Crossfit & is also training for her first full marathon!

“See Ya Later” Foundation
Candidate: Christopher Duggar

Chris Duggar

The “See Ya Later” Foundation began from the inspiration of a 12- year old boy who died of cancer. Scott Banke had a courage that motivates our mission: Inspiring Youth ~ Encouraging Families. Our 3-part outreach includes: Kids Camps, Scott Banke Memorial Scholarships, Seeds of Hope; encouragement 
to families dealing with a life- threatening medical crisis.

Christopher is currently a Personal Banker at Wells Fargo. Christopher has seen first hand how financially, emotionally and physically demanding it can be to have a terminally ill family member. He believes that the SYL Foundation are a ray of light in a darker and trying time for a family. Christopher is a person of passion and enthusiasm. He loves to meet new people and make connections. He said he loves to talk & is VERY good at it!

Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation
Candidate: Dr. Brandi Spence

Our newest OB/GYN doctor at Valley Women's Health

Foundation’s mission is “to foster hope through the support of cancer patients, education, and prevention.” The Foundation provides care to cancer patients and their families by assisting with basic needs such as transportation, groceries, housing, and other essentials so they can focus on treatment during a crisis.

Brandi is currently an OB/GYN at Valley Women’s Health. As a new physician in the community, Brandi feels strongly that everyone should have access to excellent health care.  The Cancer Foundation supports every patient, regardless of income, as they go through a difficult time in their life. Brandi is new to McMinnville, but she was born and raised in the Willamette Valley and she’s excited to make McMinnville home with her husband and 6 year old daughter.

Mid-Valley Rehabilitation
Candidate: Ed Wanner

Ed Wanner 

Mid-Valley is a private, not-for-profit organization, which provides employment, community inclusion, residential support, and transportation services to adults with developmental and other disabilities. Our mission is to assist persons with disabilities to develop to their highest potential and achieve fulfilling lives.

Ed has worked at Mid-Valley Rehabilitation for the past 10 years. He is currently the Community Employment Manager. Ed is excited about sharing the mission and goals of Mid-Valley. He hopes to raise community awareness of not only the clients they serve but also of the unfounded needs of individuals with disabilities. Ed is driven to help others in need. If he sees a need, it motivates him to help. Everything he does, he’s all in!

And our final candidate…

McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity
Candidate: Gretchen Phelps

Gretchen Phelps

McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit, ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing in Yamhill County. Founded in 1991, McMinnville Habitat offers homeownership opportunities to low-income families through the construction of energy-efficient, sustainable homes. Habitat is founded on the conviction that every man, woman and child deserves a decent, safe and affordable place to live.

Gretchen is currently the Executive Director at Habitat. She has been there for 4 years. When Gretchen returned to college as an adult, she decided she would use her education to make an impact in her local community. While Portland is her hometown, she has been a resident of McMinnville for well over a decade. Habitat is an organization that makes a long-term impact and it’s important to her to be part of the solution & work toward satisfying the growing need for affordable housing in Yamhill County.


Good Luck to all our 2014 Biggest Turkey Candidates and Sponsors!