Lents banquet boosts ‘Concerts in the Park’

If you didn’t get to the dinner at New Copper Penny,
you’ll see right here how businesses and neighbors
came together that night to support great events
YOU can enjoy for FREE, starting on August 19 …

The neighbors and friends who came to the New Copper Penny’s Pantheon Hall to support Lents’ “Concerts in the Park” were treated to a three-course dinner, in exchange for their contribution to the cause.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The only “Summer Concerts in the Park” concert series east of S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, staged in the Lents Park gazebo, has become an August tradition. The first performance is traditionally held on Lents Founder’s Day.

But the music series, partially funded by neighborhood and business donations, was in jeopardy this year because of a dip in sponsor support.

Owners of the Lents restaurant and entertainment establishment “New Copper Penny”, John and Saki Tzantarmas, hosted the event held to support the Lents “Concerts in the Park” series.

New Copper Penny hosts dinner
To make up the shortfall in funding, neighbors turned to Saki and John Tzantarmas, owners of Lents’ famous restaurant and night club “New Copper Penny” for help. The Tzantarmas family offered to host a fundraising dinner.

“The idea was to raise funds for a good cause,” said John Tzantarmas, at the fundraising dinner hosted by his restaurant on August 2. “We’ve long been a part of the Lents community. We try to help out when we can. We think the ‘Concerts in the Park’ series is good, and we’re happy to support it.”

Dewey Akers, Chair Lents NA and Clint Lenard (Safety Chair) offering raffle tickets to Rachel and Chris Slottke.

Good turnout shows support
In addition to raising money,” said the Lents Neighborhood chair, Dewey Akers, “we’re also able to publicly thank the businesses in our area who are sponsoring the Lents Summer Concerts in the Park program.”

Akers told us he thinks the concert series is important, because “it helps solidify the identity of our neighborhood. It celebrates the diversity of the neighborhood through having diverse music playing here. It is a free event for families who can enjoy.”

Long-time Lents boosters Judy and John Welch enjoy their roast baron of beef dinner at the fund-raising banquet.

An, another benefit of the event, Akers told us, is that it provided the opportunity for businesses and neighbors to get together and meet one another. “It reminds neighbors to support their local businesses.”

Finally, Akers had high praise for the New Copper Penny. “Saki is wonderful. They provide food for Founders Day, and now they’ve put on a good dinner – 100% of the proceeds will go to support our concert series. We really appreciate their participation.”

Nearly 120 neighbors enjoyed both food and a sense of community in the Pantheon Ballroom.

Lents Founders Day this weekend
The main Lents Founder’s Day celebration takes place on Sunday, August 19.

But Saturday is the day for the “Lents Softball Showdown”, pitting the “Lents Rebels” against the “Portland City Stickers”. It’s held on August 18 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lents Little League field at S.E. 92nd Avenue and Harold Street.

Sunday’s Lents Founders’ Day Parade & Celebration kicks off with a grand parade at noon. The parade forms at SE 91st Avenue and Harold Street, at the Wattles Boys and Girls Club. The procession heads north, winding around Lents Park.

Come on into the park for FREE food, provided by the New Cooper Penny, after the parade. Experience the thrill of discovery at the hands-on Pioneer Living Exhibit and Displays.

Also, see the display of historic Lents photographs; take a shot at the free rock climbing wall; and browse the community information booths.

Then, at 2:00 p.m., enjoy the “Music in Lents Park Summer Series” – great music at the Lents Park Gazebo, located south of the baseball stadium on S.E. 92nd Avenue, south of SE Holgate Boulevard. Music by the Providence Stage Band highlights music from the swing and big-band era.

By the way, consider saying “thank you” by patronizing the sponsors of the concert series. They are New Copper Penny, Providence Portland Medical Center, Eastport Plaza Merchants, Lents Body Shop, Lansing Linoleum, Econolodge, Frank Bitar & Associates, Lents Neighborhood Association, Al’s Shoes and Boots, Kadel’s Auto Body, TriMet, Light Truck Parts and Thompson Auto Body.

Be sure to say hello, when we see you there!

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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