In October 2009, New Avenues lost a dear friend who had a unique vision and heart for young people in the Portland community – Joyce Furman, a founder and board member of New Avenues for Youth. For more than twelve years, Joyce was an advocate for this organization and for the homeless youth New Avenues serves. The legacy of Joyce Furman extends far beyond her countless contributions to this cause – she was affiliated with nearly 30 organizations during her lifetime and was tireless in working for causes in which she believed.
In 1997, she and other community leaders felt that the issue of youth homelessness should be addressed in a thoughtful and far-sighted way. They researched homeless youth services across the country to design an organization that incorporated the best practices of the most successful programs. New Avenues for Youth was created and has since served more than 20,000 homeless and at-risk youth. New Avenues exists because Joyce insisted that homeless youth – no matter how difficult their situations – should have resources and support available to help them off the streets. She believed in their resiliency and what they could accomplish. And she believed that a thriving community finds ways to help the less fortunate succeed and contribute to that community.
The Joyce N. Furman Spirit of Service Award honors an individual whose leadership has made an indelible mark in the community. Since 2011, the Furman Family and New Avenues for Youth honor the legacy of Joyce Furman by highlighting those in our community that follow in her path of leadership and service through this award. Past recipients include volunteer and philanthropist Lucille McAleese (2011) and community leader and one of New Avenues’ founders, Mitchell Hornecker (2014).
This year’s recipients are Sally and Dave Bany. Two native Oregonians, Sally and Dave have shared a love of music, family and have built a life together creating and providing opportunity for those less fortunate through their many community and civic endeavors.
In June, 2013, they founded the Youth Music Project in West Linn. The Youth Music Project’s mission is to provide outstanding rock, pop, and country music education for youth by offering low cost lessons, free instrument use, and exceptional performance opportunities. The Youth Music Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that offers music lessons to every student regardless of their ability to pay and provides students with sophisticated, state-of-the-art performance opportunities. Financial aid is available as well as free instrument use for students on the free/reduced school lunch program.
If that wasn’t ambitious enough, in April 2015 Sally and Dave co-founded The World of Speed in Wilsonville, Oregon. It is a 501(c)(3) educational museum featuring historic race cars, boats, and motorcycles that tell the story of motorsports culture. It encompasses many aspects of motorsports including drag racing, road racing, land speed racing, motorcycle racing, boat racing as well as open wheel and NASCAR racing. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities the World of Speed offers visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the world of motorsports. The Learning Center teaches young people the opportunities available in the auto industry and help educate them for entry into the workforce or advance to specialized education.
Through their passionate and innovative approach to providing musical and educational opportunities for youth in our community, they truly exemplify the spirit of service and we are pleased to honor Sally and Dave Bany as this year’s recipients of the Joyce N. Furman Spirit of Service Award.