GABA finds new luncheon spot for monthly meetings

Take a look and see where the Gateway Area Business Association is now gathering for their monthly meetings, and what’s on their schedule for 2013 …

GABA President Fred Sanchez welcomes attendees to their new monthly meeting “home” – the Cherrywood Center for Loaves and Fishes’ Meals on Wheels.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
After a delightful year of being hosted at Russellville Park, members of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) are now meeting in a dining room at the Cherrywood Center Loaves and Fishes’ Meals on Wheels.

At their first meeting of the year, on January 10, GABA President Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers welcomed the group to the facility, which is located in the East Portland Community Center.

“We thank our gracious hosts at Russellville Park,” Sanchez said. “And, we’re pleased now to be meeting here at the Cherrywood Center. The meal purchases will go to help support the efforts of ‘The Meals on Wheels People’.”

Volunteers at the Cherrywood Center for Loaves and Fishes’ Meals on Wheels stand by to serve the meal, during GABA’s first meeting at their facility.

GABA’s new Program Chair, Maggie Nelson, tells about some of the speakers she’s lining up for future GABA meetings.

Sanchez then welcomed defeated Oregon legislative candidate Maggie Nelson, who he said agreed to be the new Program Chair for the organization.

Nelson ticked off several well-known names of politicians and officials with whom she has been in contact, to speak to GABA members on a variety of topics of interest to business people.

GABA members appear to take well to their new luncheon spot at the Cherrywood Center.

Fred Sanchez presents the “Honorary Rubber Chicken” to the Cherrywood Center’s chef and manager, Robert Bradley.

Next, Sanchez presented the main speaker, Cherrywood Center Loaves and Fishes’ Meals on Wheels director and chef, Robert Bradley.

In its 27 centers located in Multnomah, Washington and in Clark County, Loaves and Fishes offers both food delivery services and in-house dining – serving about 1.4 million meals last year, Bradley said.

“We are preparing to serve about 1.7 million meals this year,” Bradley told the outer East Portland business group. “Unfortunately, business is booming. We’re facing a rising tide of poverty, and folks who are having a very difficult time.”

He said the Center is well-placed, and described how the organization works in cooperation with Portland Parks & Recreation – their landlord – which operates the East Portland Community Center.

Bradley spoke of the garden project he started last year. [CLICK HERE to read that story.] “We’ve been able to harvest about 500 portions of food from these garden beds already.  This food will significantly aid our kitchen this year in providing fresh local produce for our seniors.”

-7 Outer East Portland parks advocate Linda Robinson tells about progress that’s been made with the “Gateway Green” project.

Oregon House Representative District 47 Jessica Vega Pederson (D) returns to GABA – this time, as an elected legislator.

Newly-elected Oregon House Representative District 47 Jessica Vega Pederson (D) appeared at GABA’s first meeting of the year, and briefly spoke.

“I’m happy that this area has such a strong organization as GABA,” Pederson said.  “With schools and nonprofit and service organizations, I’m glad they come together to work together to benefit the community. And, I’m glad I’ll be able to go to Salem to advocate for this area.”

GABA board members struggle to hoist up a street-wide banner, promoting the organization’s “Fun-O-Rama Parade and Community Fair” coming on May 18.

The Gateway Area Business Association meets next on February 14. Networking starts at 11:30 a.m; and the meeting starts at 11:45, and ends promptly at 1:00 p.m. This month: Marlene Adams & Orient present, “Meeting the Needs of the Low Vision within the Community”.

They’re now meeting at the Cherry Blossom Loaves and Fishes Center, 740 SE 106th Avenue (in the East Portland Community Center, between SE Stark Street and Cherry Blossom Drive). Lunch is available for an $8.00 suggested donation. For more information, see their all-new website: CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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