9/17/2013 2:04:00 PM It's not about all-stars: Couple helps to improve lives of kids
CYO/Camp Howard photo
Sheri and Sean Dooney
Clarice Keating Of the Catholic Sentinel
The couple who are chairing this year’s Champions of Faith Benefit Dinner disprove any notion that busy people can’t find time to volunteer for causes they love.
Sheri and Sean Dooney, parents of seven, are constantly on the go — balancing careers, children and household — yet they are enthusiastic about making time for CYO/Camp Howard.
They know that their work with the organization impacts the lives of thousands of children in their community.
“CYO is about all kids, not all-stars,” said Sheri, echoing her husband’s favorite quote about the organization. “That’s why we like it, because it’s for everyone.”
CYO/Camp Howard has been a big part of the Dooney family life for many years.
Sean and Sheri, college sweethearts who met at Oregon State University, have seven children ranging in age from 23 to 10 — Brian, Sean, Meagan, Danny, Erin, Ronan and Molly.
Over the years, the couple has witnessed the CYO program at St. Thomas More School fuel their children’s interest in athletics and leadership. All of them have participated in CYO sports and all but one of their children spent summer days at Camp Howard. And despite having never been a camper there, Danny built the stage at the Wy’East Campfire Pit for his Eagle Scout project.
“CYO and Camp Howard have a faith-filled spirit that you can’t find everywhere,” Sheri said. “Children learn skills like teamwork and focus, and the importance of hard work.”
Sean travels for work often and works long shifts at his office, an insurance company his grandfather started in 1933 in Beaverton.
Sheri cherishes the time she spends with her husband working on the Champions of Faith project, made more special, she said, because they are giving back to their community.
This year, Sheri and Sean have been implementing an ambassador program. Their goal is to have an advocate at every parish in the Archdiocese of Portland, and Southwest Washington, who will share the mission of CYO/Camp Howard.
They hope to recruit not only young parents, but also empty nesters and grandparents who feel inspired by CYO and Camp Howard’s mission to provide social, cultural and recreational activities that reinforce Christian human and social values.
To find out more about the Ambassador program, contact Ann Reinhart, CYO/Camp Howard development director, at (503) 231-9484, Ext. 102, or email Sheri at [email protected]