Ads by Google Ads by Google

Oregon philanthropist presents a laser eye machine to LBJ eye clinic

Laser eye machine donation from Roundhouse Foundation
Joyetter@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The LBJ eye clinic yesterday received a $70,000 laser eye machine, thanks to Kathy Deggendorfer, founder of the Roundhouse Foundation.

Deggendorfer is part of the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) team that is currently on island.

Deggendorfer — an artist by profession — gives students projects while they are waiting to be examined by the eye doctors who are bringing eye care to students at local schools.

She is the founder and trustee of Roundhouse Foundation and has been to the territory three times. And this isn’t the first time Deggendorfer has donated medical equipment to LBJ hospital.

The Roundhouse Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs that inspire creativity, connect people with each other and their sense of place, and ensure sustainability for the long-term economic success of Oregon’s rural communities.

According to the website, Roundhouse Foundation was founded with the support of Deggendorfer’s mother, Gert Boyle, the matriarch of Columbia Sportswear. 

“Gert was no stranger to challenges as she immigrated from Nazi Germany in 1937, took over Columbia Hat Company with her husband Neal, and then quickly had to transition the family business after Neal’s sudden death in 1970. 

“Gert recognized the need for hard work and collaboration to ensure the family business and the greater community was successful.

“One of Mom’s famous ‘Gertisms’ was, ‘It is better to give with a warm hand than a cold one’,’” Deggendorfer remembers.

“In that spirit, Gert funded and the family Trustees direct The Roundhouse Foundation.

“The Foundation’s original desire was to focus on supporting ideas and projects that create positive change.  

“Roundhouse was interested in projects that work with and through the arts, celebrate creative problem solving, and showcase creative people as positive mentors for children and important forces in creating new economies.”

Over the past several years the mission of the Foundation has morphed into celebrating not only the arts, but all creative problem solving throughout Oregon’s rural communities and Tribal Nations. 

Roundhouse has worked to establish four dynamic program areas of support: arts and culture, environmental stewardship, education, and social services.

The Trustees often find their work most effective at the intersections of these program areas.

In 2017, the Roundhouse Foundation purchased Pine Meadow Ranch in Sisters, Oregon to fulfill  Deggendorfer’s long-term vision of creating a space for artists, conservationists, farmers, ranchers, educators and scientists to come together to share space and ideas while working in an inspirational setting.

The Ranch serves as a model for interconnected work and the basis for collaborative economies.

Now, almost 20 years later, the Roundhouse Foundation owns and operates the Ranch as an example of the work it hopes to support through grant-making and investing.

In 2021, the Foundation distributed over $10 million to hundreds of organizations that are paving the way for creative problem-solving in rural communities.