‘Our Small-Town Feel, Personified’: Greg Perez Named Canby’s Newest ‘Hometown Hero’

Canby has a new “Hometown Hero.”

The award gives special recognition for community involvement, leadership and noteworthy acts of heroism, service and philanthropy. It’s bestowed by the city, not on an annual basis, but only when the mayor and council feel a citizen is particularly deserving (the last award was in 2017, recognizing Walt Daniels for his long service to the city council).

The newest member of the exclusive club is Canby resident, community activist and volunteer extraordinaire Greg Perez. He was nominated by Councilor Traci Hensley who called him “our small-town feel, personified.”

His nomination was also supported by letters from several local business and community leaders.

“Greg loves Canby and works diligently to preserve the character and charm of this amazing community,” said Gwynn’s Coffeehouse owner Mallory Gwynn. “He lives a can-do life that does not accept defeat when working to develop new ideas or events that fit the Canby lifestyle.

“When thinking about the criteria of a hero, it is someone who cares about others more than oneself. Greg is that guy.”

The City Public Works Department also endorsed the award, citing his tireless support of local events, often being the first to help set up beforehand and the last to leave when it’s time to clean up.

Ken Arrigotti, owner of the Backstop Bar & Grill, said Greg was the first person who greeted him when they started their business here seven years ago, and said his service to the United States Army is “only the tip of the iceberg of what he has done” for our community.

“As time went on, I noticed there was not an event in town that he was not giving his time to. He was part of everything,” Arrigotti said. “I once spoke with him of an idea for a street dance, and before I knew it, he had organized a group of people to help make it happen. He is the guy who gets things done, even when he has no skin in the game.”

In what surely came as no surprise to anyone who knows him, Greg was gracious in accepting the award, but humbly tried to minimize his own role in the many successful projects and events he’s been involved in.

In addition to a certificate recognizing Greg and his service to Canby, his name will be added to a plaque that hangs at City Hall, honoring all of the community’s Hometown Heroes. In his comments later in the meeting, Mayor Brian Hodson wanted to make sure Greg knew he was deserving of such an honor.

Photo courtesy Canby City Councilor Traci Hensley.

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