Central Oregon Impact Summit

By: Colleen Goldblatt, 2015 Leadership Bend class president

Leadership Bend is a community leadership development program designed to identify, educate, train and connect willing and committed citizens to leadership roles in our community. Now in its 19th year, Leadership Bend is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and fully supported from community resources. To purchase tickets to the Central Oregon Impact Summit or for more information, please visit

Leadership Bend, a nine-month program of the Bend Chamber, is elevating nonprofit organizations in Central Oregon. For this year’s class project, Leadership Bend 2015 has developed the Central Oregon Impact Summit (COIS) to bring together community-minded people and organizations that share a commitment to a better future for Central Oregon.

Five local non-profit organizations have been selected as finalists to compete for a $10,000 cash prize at the inaugural Central Oregon Impact Summit on June 4 at Central Oregon Community College.

The 2015 Central Oregon Impact Summit finalists are:

  • Better Together – Better Together is about long-term student success. The primary purpose of Better Together is to serve as the “backbone” which works with a wide range of stakeholders to support collective impact on long-term student success.
  • Family Kitchen – Since 1986, Bend Family Kitchen, has remained unwavering in its mission to serve anyone who needs a nutritious meal in a safe and caring environment. There are no criteria, no forms to fill out. Rather, the Kitchen provides an “island” of sorts – a calm and accepting place where all diners can feel welcome.
  • Healing Reins – Healing Reins is the only nationally accredited equine-based therapy program east of the Cascades in Oregon. Healing Reins was established in Oregon in 1999, and brings horses into the lives of children and adults with physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral challenges.
  • La Pine Community Kitchen – The La Pine Community Kitchen offers the residents of South Deschutes County basic nutritional and social needs in a non-discriminatory manner, regardless of social status, economic ability, ethnicity, age, disabling conditions, or religious affiliation. The Kitchen serves veterans, elderly, low-income, no-income, and the homeless of La Pine and the surrounding communities.
  • Latino Community Association – The Latino Community Associations mission is to empower Latino families to thrive at home and in our community, creating opportunities for advancement and building bridges that unite and strengthen us all. Latino Community Association was founded over 15 years ago with the hopes of building a cohesive and diverse community where all people are valued and empowered to participate and contribute to the health and prosperity of Central Oregon.

Finalists were chosen from a semi-finalist group of ten organizations that participated in a series of strategic business planning workshops. These workshops, facilitated by local non-profit and business leaders, focused on increasing organizational capacity, building more durable institutions and better positioning these organizations in the competitive field of fundraising.




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