Two decades of ROSE is celebrated at Lents dinner fête

Supporters of this ‘community development corporation’ are commemorating 20 years of service …

ROSE volunteers Jim Grojan, Sarah Myrvik, and Amelia Frey prepare salads in the Lents Village kitchen – just one of the courses in a sumptuous banquet celebrating the 20th year of the ROSE Community Development Corporation.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A fine summer’s evening welcomed guests to the ROSE Community Development Corporation 20th Anniversary Celebration on September 13, at the Lents Village senior housing center in outer East Portland.

Supporters, staff, and dignitaries gathered for a silent auction, and for a program at which they celebrated their organization’s past, and looked forward to its future.

Many guests become bidders, examining items on display at the silent auction.

The soulful guitar solos performed by Brenna McDonald, from Assa Flamenco, set an elegant tone for the evening.

Volunteers set tables in a massive tent set up in the parking lot of the residential facility, at 10325 S.E. Holgate Boulevard in the Lents Neighborhood. The tent served as a dining room. At the same time, guests were treated to hot hors d’œuvres and beverages, while they browsed silent auction packages.

ROSE CDC Executive Director Nick Sauvie talks with candidate Jeff Reardon (D) House District 48.

“The theme of our event,” remarked ROSE Executive Director Nick Sauvie, “Is ‘twenty years, and still blooming’. Our name stands for ‘Revitalize Outer South East’, which is what we’ve been doing.

“With neighborhood revitalization, and housing, resident services, economic development,” Sauvie explained to East Portland News, “I think we touch everyone in the neighborhoods that we work in, one way or another.”

As the music of Brenna McDonald with Assa Flamenco filtered through the warm evening air, many of the 225 guests filtered in to the celebration.

As revelers gather, Nick Sauvie is joined by Portland City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Nick Fish.

ROSE board member Roger Anthony welcomes all to the celebration.

When they sat down for dinner, former ROSE Chairman and current board member, Roger Anthony served as master of ceremonies.

“I’ve seen, first-hand, the work that ROSE does to bring safe, stable homes to families that need it,” Anthony began.

“ROSE started a very small,” Anthony told the assembly. “Over the years, ROSE has taken a part in a wide range of projects, all aimed at building a better Southeast [Portland]. We staged home-buying fairs are first-time homers, worked to build a parks in the Brentwood-Darlington and Foster-Powell neighborhoods.  Most of all, ROSE has worked to provide clean, well maintained homes for families that are working to build better lives.”

Anthony commented that ROSE currently houses about 1,000 residents; and is rehabilitating some 400 rental homes.

Guests at the ROSE CDC 20th Anniversary Celebration tuck into dinner.

“ROSE has also been involved in many community organizing activities and has been ‘at the table’, working citywide projects like the East Portland Action Plan and the PDC Neighborhood Economic Strategy,” Anthony went on.

In addition to speeches, guests were treated to three melodies, performed by members of the Assa Flamenco troupe. The evening concluded with a toast to ROSE by Ron Eiseman, and testimonials by Bill Kowalczyk and ChoChen Folwick – and, an appeal for continued financial support.

Assa Flamenco gives a spirited performance of En lo Alto del Cero de Palomres.

With a delightful dinner, served in a hospitable setting, it appeared that ROSE is set to continue its mission for decades to come.

“We truly appreciate the support that people continue to give us in the work we do,” Sauvie concluded.

For more information about ROSE CDC, see their website: CLICK HERE; or call (503) 788-8052.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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