Garden Party aids Portland Impact programs

See Portland Nursery transformed into an elegant outdoor event center – on behalf of this charitable organization …

Stuart Holgate and Teresa Holgate bidding in the Portland Impact Garden Party silent auction.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The people strolling around Portland Nursery are usually looking for yard and garden accruements. But, this garden-lover’s paradise is turned into the site of an elegant garden party, once each summer, on behalf of Portland Impact.

Hail shifts event from spring to summer
Seven years ago, that organization was looking for a unique way to raise funds, explained their development director, Scott Shlaes. He told us their first event was at the Rhododendron Gardens in inner SE Portland.

“We held it in the springtime,” Shlaes related. “After an evening of rain and hail, we decided to hold it during the summer; Portland Nursery in SE Division Street stepped up as the site sponsor.”

Patrons line up for a grand meal prepared and served by Delisiso Catering.

Auction raises $115,000
Through silent and live auctions, sponsorships, and generous donations made during a “bid for the cause”, the 450 attendees helped Portland Impact raise nearly $115,000 during this, their 7th Garden Party.

“We’re a non-profit, social service agency,” Shlaes explained, “with a mission to help people alleviate the effects of poverty in their lives and achieve self sufficiency. The funds raised at this event really help us help others.”

Mitch Lambley, benefit auctioneer, takes a bid.

Shlaes went on to say that Portland Impact provides both proactive and reactive solutions to people in need. “Poverty is a big problem. Some of our services provide immediate relief for people – like helping keep utilities from being shut off, or keeping people from being evicted.” An example of an Impact long-term antipoverty program is managing eleven SUN Schools to promote early childhood educational.

Event sponsors included the Lindgren Family Foundation, PECO Manufacturing and Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund.

Kathleen Wendler is welcomed to the event by Portland Impact’s Scott Shlaes.

You can help
To find out how you can help this fine organization, check their website at for details about their programs.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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