Lents Safety Festival a success

This harvest festival featured a safety theme – but see why it still proved to be good fun …

Dressed in costume for the season, Erica Ferguson and Kendra Martin make friends with McGruff, and learn how to “take a bite out of crime” at the Lents Harvest Safety Festival.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
While this event, on October 28, featured food and children’s activities, the theme of the festival was Building a Safer Community in Lents”.

“The idea,” explained co-organizer Amie Diffenauer, of ROSE Community Development, “was to provide an event where Lents neighbors of all ages, cultures, and socio-economic levels to come together and learn about personal safety and crime prevention.”

Portland Police Bureau NRT Officer William Hoover, who serves the greater Lents area, teams up with EPNO Crime Prevention Specialist Rosanne Lee, to give safety tips at the Lents festival.

The festival, held in Lents’ Pilgrim Lutheran Church meeting room, drew dozens of neighbors who made their way through tables loaded with information. They spoke with representatives from TriMet, Portland Fire Bureau, the Portland Office of Transportation, ONI Crime Prevention Program, Lents Homeownership Initiative, Knights of Pythias, and the Lents Neighborhood Association.

Serving up hot chili dogs at the festival is volunteer Laurie Shuart.

At the festival, Portland Fire Bureau’s Inspector Earl Diment told us why he brought his display. “I’m on the prevention side of the bureau,” he explained.

Portland Fire Bureau’s Inspector Earl Diment, shows neighbors how to be “fire safe”, such as by using up-to-date fire alarms.

“I’m involved in public education,” Diment said. “Most of the people we lose to fires are in their homes. We don’t have jurisdiction to go into houses and make a fire inspection like we do in public buildings. This festival is a great opportunity to help neighbors learn how to become more aware of fire prevention basics that can save their lives. Having a working smoke detector is a good example.”

As we moved on to cover our next story, neighbors were continuing to come in to learn from, and enjoy, this unique harvest festival.

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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