When Paul Simon played his last tour date here in Portland, he didn’t just leave behind memories for the thousands of fans who came to the arena–he left behind a lasting legacy for the kids of Portland by making a donation to Friends of Outdoor School!

In a letter to Kim Silva, Executive Director, Simon said, “As I’m embarking on my Farewell Tour and playing in these cities for what will be the last time, I felt strongly that I’d like to be able to, in a sense, say thank you to the people and communities who have supported me and my music for all these years. The conclusion I came to was that I could define one, or a couple, organizations doing work on the ground in each place I visit on tour, and offer some financial gift that will hopefully have some lasting impact. Please accept this donation...for Friends of Outdoor School to continue your efforts. In each town and city, there are so many organizations doing great work, including the invaluable work you do. Keep it up!”

Silva, a big fan as well as a thankful recipient, was thrilled to hear the news, saying, “I am so happy to accept this gift on behalf of Oregon's kids! When he held his last concert here in Portland, Paul Simon didn’t just offer an incredible experience for his concert-going fans–he also offered a gift to the thousands of children who are served by our organization each year. We are grateful for his generous support and vote of confidence in our work.”

Friends will immediately put the funds to use advocating for Oregon’s Outdoor School, which unites Oregonians with a shared experience and connects kids to their land and heritage through residential, outdoor education. Friends will also use it to share expertise with the community and build networks that will support local Outdoor School programs for years to come.

Thank you, Paul, for your decades of bringing joy, solace, and celebration to generations of music lovers and for supporting so many worthy causes with your time, talent, and treasure. We are thrilled to be among them!