‘Fix-it Fair’ returns to Madison High

If you missed last fall’s ‘Fix-it Fair’ in outer East Portland, be sure to catch their final event of the season, on 82nd Avenue of Roses, on February 24

At the fall, 2017 Fix-it Fair, in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood, this school gym is turned into an display area, featuring more than 50 exhibitors.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Last fall’s Fix-it Fair, the name for a series of free events put on by the City of Portland Office of Planning & Sustainability (BPS) (now in its 31st season), began at Ron Russell Middle School on November 18.

If you missed it, don’t fret!  The final, day-long Fix-it Fair of the season is still to come – and it takes place on February 24 at Madison High School.

BPS Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer pauses for a photo with a co-worker at the Bureau, Wing Grabowski.

“The Fix-It Fair is where you can learn simple ways to save money, connect with resources, talk to the experts about how to spend less, and discover new ways to stay healthy,” explained BPS Sustainability Outreach Coordinator Bill Beamer at last fall’s fair.

“We haven’t added new features this season because, after putting on these events over the decades, we’ve honed in on providing information and resources most-asked-for by those who attend,” Beamer then told East Portland News.

Multnomah County Weatherization Program specialist Gary Walsworth tells about money-saving lighting solutions, after a guest spin of the ‘Wheel of Savings’.

At the Fix-It Fairs, aisles of exhibitors talk with visitors about water and energy savings, home and personal health, food and nutrition, community resources, recycling and yard care, lead testing, and other topics.

Guests are encouraged to bring a reusable bag to collect the many giveaways and resources provided by the exhibitors.

Perry Cabot, Senior Program Specialist, Multnomah County Environmental Health, takes a blood draw for their lead testing program.

At Fix-It Fairs, visitors will find:

  • Free lead blood testing
  • Free giveaways
  • Free door prizes
  • Free professional childcare
  • Free lunch

In this workshop, Community Energy Project Weatherization Educator Megan McGinnis gives tips about how to seal cold weather out of residences.

“Forty-five minute workshops every hour give simple tips and easy-to-understand ways to affordably improve your home – and no registration is required,” Beamer smiled.

The workshops are on topics such as as:

  • Personal finance
  • Water and energy savings
  • Safe and healthy home
  • Food and nutrition
  • Weatherizing your home
  • Gardening and growing your own food
  • Yard care and composting
  • Transportation

One of the most popular features of the fair, the “Repair Café”, returns this season – offering free fixes for many broken goods.

And, the “Repair Café” returns, where visitors can bring one item to be fixed by a Repair PDX volunteer.

While volunteers will do their best, a complete repair is not guaranteed; some things are just too busted to fix. You’ll find them working on small appliances, toys, and articles of clothing,

Here trying to fix a broken appliance is cheerful Repair PDX volunteer Chuck Quarterman.

“New, at this “Repair Café” will be a specialist who will provide non-toxic book repair,” Beamer remarked.

It takes the efforts of more than 100 volunteers to put on the fair, and it’s a lot of work, Beamer said. “But, when you see people learning new things, finding out how to save money and live better, it’s all worth it.”

All this, and a free lunch! Here, the Ron Russell Middle School “Panthers” volunteers help in the kitchen, serving lunches.

Fix-It Fair facts:

Saturday February 24, 2018
9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
Madison High School
2735 NE 82nd Avenue, Portland, 97220

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News


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