Massive BBQ highlights Rosewood’s NNO party

Find out why so many volunteers helped put on the Rosewood “National Night Out”, and see all that they offered at this outer East Portland event …

At the Rosewood “National Night Out Against Crime” party, Portland Police Bureau officers East Precinct Rob Brown, Joe Young, Jason Pearce, and Commander Bryan Parman, were on hand to greet guests.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For the forth year, three outer East Portland faith communities partnered with the Centennial Community Association neighborhood and with Rosewood to put on a huge National Night Out Against Crime (NNO) on August 4 in the parking lot of the Town Center Shopping Plaza.

Although it was one of the hottest days of the summer, that didn’t stop scores of volunteers from many organizations in putting on this annual summer barbecue and community fair, and this year a Portland Parks & Recreation “Movie in the Park” was included, to wrap up the evening.

Grilling some of the hundreds of hamburgers and hot dogs served is Burger Chef Bill Benson of the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church.

“Forty organizations signed up to present to the public here – and only a couple of them dropped out because of the heat,” said Rosewood Executive Director Jenny Glass. Many participating organizations are those that we work with very closely. Some of them are here with us on site, while some of them are out working in the neighborhood, and are close by.”

East Portland Neighborhood Office Executive Director Victor Salinas spends a moment with Rosewood’s Jenny Glass.

“This party is important to our mission at Rosewood, because it brings everybody together to experience their neighborhood in a positive way. Many times people associate this corner [SE 162nd Avenue and Stark Street] with negative activities, so it’s really important to bring people to it for a very positive event,” Glass told East Portland News. “And this way, all of our guests get to meet people that they don’t normally get to meet.”

Dozens of nonprofit organizations and government agencies are on hand to present their services to visitors at the celebration.

The play area for kids is a popular spot at the Rosewood NNO party.

This couple, Gordon Thompson and Shelli Thompson with Parklane Christian Reformed Church wrangled much of the food served.

During the event, members of the Knights of Columbus at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church worked giant grills, cooking up 800 hamburgers and 400 hot dogs, all served free of charge during the NNO celebration.

Meantime, “Those of us at Parklane Christian Reformed Church were in charge of the food that is not being cooked – including all the salads, pickles, condiments; you name it,” smiled Shelli Thompson.

Volunteers serve a hamburger dinner to all who stop by for supper.

“We brought in a whole pallet of potato chips, half a pallet of potato salad and another half a pallet of macaroni salad, and we had a couple large dishes of coleslaw for the gluten-intolerant people,” Thompson added. “Our church is an agency for Birch Community Services, the organization that secured the food from suppliers around town.”

Rosewood board member of David Pauli, pastor of Freedom Foursquare Church, and co-founder Kelly Pauli, say they’re happy this event is being held in their neighborhood – in fact, in their own parking lot.

“Working at this party is another outreach for our church,” said Kelly Pauli of Freedom Foursquare Church. “For example, we offer free breakfast on Sundays, as well as out at the Human Solutions Family Shelter across the street,” Pauli said.

“We do this because this is what we should be doing; helping our community,” Pauli went on. “It’s not about stressing our religion, living out our faith and so we do it because Jesus would hang out here and be part of the community.”

One of the most popular booths at the celebration is staffed by Amy Li, Jim Cooper, and Lilly Wilde, all dishing up free scoops of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

For more information about Rosewood, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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