Parkrose to host ‘summer of centenary’ celebration

From the unveiling of the Portland Immigrant Statue, to the return of the famed ‘Barn Bash’ barbecue dinner, and a parade – see how our Parkrose businesspeople are pulling out all the stops, as they celebrate 100 years of community …

People always seem to have a good time at the monthly Parkrose Business Association meetings – as you can see, their May meeting was no exception.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The Parkrose community is gearing up to celebrate their 100th “birthday” this summer with a series of events.

That’s what the members and guests of the Parkrose Business Association (PBA) learned at their May meeting at the Holiday Inn Airport Convention Center.

Mary Brown, of Bob Brown Tires, leaves the buffet line – showing her delicious-looking luncheon plate provided by the hotel’s catering staff.

Acting chair Mark Eves, JD, of Mark W. Eves PC Attorney, calls the PBA meeting to order.

Taking the place of the PBA’s ebullient President, Wayne Stoll – who was called out of town, due to a serious accident involving a family member – was Mark Eves, a Past President and board member of the association.

Willamette Realty Group’s Neil Robbins – he’s also working with the Portland Immigrant Statue project – is welcomed as a new PBA member by Judy Kennedy, from Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union.

Joe Rossi tells PBA members more about the Portland Immigrant Statue project.

After self-introductions and announcements, Eves introduced a man who needed little introduction to Parkrosians – Joe Rossi.

In a talk illustrated with a PowerPoint presentation, Rossi talked about the early days of Parkrose. “The area was settled primarily by immigrant farmers – many Italians, and some Japanese folks.”

A set of commemorative coins are being presented as sponsorship appreciation to contributors at the “Home of the Brave” level of sponsorship, Rossi says. Only 200 sets of coins are available.

Rossi then detailed the progress of the Portland Immigrant Statue – the PBA is the “lead endorser” of the project – scheduled to be installed this fall. He went on to introduce sculptor James Gion: “It will be a symbol for immigrants who settled the area, and we’re proud to have it in Parkrose.”

> To see our story when the Portland Immigrant Statue project was first revealed: CLICK HERE.

“Jim lives and has his studio right here in Parkrose,” Rossi told the group. “You’ve seen the miniature version – he’s working on the full-size statue right now.”

This statue is part of a ‘birthday party’,” Rossi says. “But we’re not building it as a gift to ourselves; it’s our gift to the City of Portland, commemorating all immigrants to the area, as we celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Parkrose.”

Who is the man depicted by the Portland Immigrant Statue?  “It’s not a single person,” explained Rossi. “Jim has taken an ‘average of features’ of people who settled the area. This figure has clearly just arrived, with his belongings in a bag, and looks and feels isolated – a little out of place.”

Many individuals, organizations, and companies have donated services – such as for surveying and engineering – to prepare the Parkrose Triangle for this event, Rossi explained.

Amelia Salvador, the project’s marketing director, and owner of Trinity Marketing and Multimedia LLC, and Gabrielle Rossi, new graduate of University of Portland, head the promotion team for the Portland Immigrant Statue.

‘Barn Bash’ returns July 9
The first centenary event, Rossi announced, will be the return of the Parkrose “Barn Bash” on Saturday, July 9th.

“Come and invite all your friends,” entreated Rossi. “This a good opportunity to have fun, and show off Parkrose to everyone you know.”

The Parkrose Barn Bash, featuring the best barbecue chicken dinner ever, draws a big, friendly crowd. East Portland News file photo

After the meeting, Rossi told us that those fabulous cooks from the Parkrose Lions Club will again be in charge of the barbecue chicken dinner with all the trimmings at this 21-and-over community event. It’ll also feature the “Wild West Action Show” by the Turkey Creek Productions players, and two bands will provide live music and dancing.

As in past years, a portion of the proceeds will go to support the favorite organization of his dad, Aldo Rossi – Parkrose Football – and the remainder will support the statue project.

  • September 10 – Thanks to the help of Judy Kennedy of Pacific Northwest Federal Credit Union, Rossi Farm will host a Family Movie Night.
  • October 1 – This is the day they’ll dedicate the Portland Immigrant Statue – including a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and parade down NE Sandy Boulevard from the “Parkrose Triangle”, where the statue is located, to Parkrose High School for a reception.

For more information, or to become a sponsor of the Portland Immigrant Statue project, see their official website: CLICK HERE to open their home page.

Mark Eves holds the container containing door prize tickets, as Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman draws for the first of two dozen prizes given away at the PBA meeting.

Meet the PBA members on June 16
One of our favorite business groups gets together today at 11:30 a.m. Come and meet this group of fun, energized business people.

This month: The Parkrose Business Foundation Scholarship Awards. Find out which students will be awarded with both accolades – and cash.

The meeting is at Holiday Inn Airport 8439 NE Columbia Boulevard (in the hotel building, around the back at the Flirt’s entrance – not at the Convention Center next door). The meeting is free, and the wonderful three-course buffet lunch is $17including dessert and gratuity. Reservations are NOT required.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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