Kid-size ‘city’ returns to outer East Portland

Discover this year’s theme of ‘SunnyCity’ – held in the Mill Park neighborhood …

Education, mixed with lots of fun, is what SunnyCity is all about, organizers say.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
From an empty parking lot and grassy area around the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church at 10501 SE Market Street arose the mythical child-sized SunnyCity on June 26.

“This is our fifth presentation of SunnyCity,” said organizer Natalia Gramada. “We think this is a good way to come together and produce something special for the children of the community. It’s a place where they can learn – in a fun way – how a community works. That includes government, businesses, and non-profit associations – working for the greater benefit of the whole community.”

Standing with the tallest and the most diminutive volunteers – here’s Adventist Medical Center President Tom Russell, and CherryWood Village resident volunteer Tena Baehm, as well as the organizer SunnyCity, Natalia Gramada.

This year’s event featured 20 “stations”. “This year, we’re focusing on careers,” Gramada confided to East Portland News. “It’s a way for children to find out what different people do for a living, what does it take to get there – what they need to study in school to become a pilot, a doctor, or a technician.  Hopefully we will motivate them to study hard in school right now.”

Neighborhood Emergency Team 7 (NET Team 7) station volunteers Ken Null and Harold Lang.

Portland Fire & Rescue Firefighter/Paramedic Billy Earl is high atop the fully-extended ladder on Mill Park Fire Station’s Truck 7, demonstrating one of his vocational skills..

Mika Schow holds Maddie Duffield as she’s getting made up by Portland Adventist Academy student volunteer Andreea Hutuleac.

Because of the expense of renting nearby Ventura Park for the day, Gramada said they’d moved it to the church, just east of Adventist Medical Center.

“We needed to keep the budget costs low this year.  We save more than $1,000 by not having it in the park – but, we are hoping to go back there next year.”

After telling about his profession, photographer Ben Dalusong is about to take a portrait of guests Jeremiah Bjornson and Larissa Bjornson.

Production Manager Hershel Kirby, of medical manufacturer Thortex, shows one of the firm’s precision-made implants.

Jack Moore checks to see if he got his hands really clean, with the assistance of nurse Jan Skau RN.

Dozens of volunteers had labored for countless hours to put on SunnyCity, Gramada remarked. “Based on what we hear, this is a good event, one that helps the youth in our community. That makes this effort all worthwhile.”

> On our Front Page: Sadie Pardue has fun on top of Bounce Mountain.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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