Gateway community enjoys return of springtime ‘Fun-O-Rama’

Take a look at all the photos of this great event, hosted by the Gateway Area Business Association, and enjoyed by families all over, and you’ll see why folks had such a good time at the event at 111th Square …

Event host Fred Sanchez of Realty Brokers and 111th Square, welcomes everyone to the 2011 Gateway Fun-O-Rama.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Families for miles around the Gateway area rejoiced when they heard that the Fun-O-Rama, a tradition for decades, was returning to the area on May 21.

Initially, the organizers in the Gateway Area Business Association, sponsors of the event, had hoped to hold the community fair on the empty “J.J. North’s Chuckwagon” lot and bring back the parade down NE Halsey Street. But, sharply increased permit fees and restrictions put those plans on hold.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jason Gates greets the crowd assembled for the flag ceremony.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard runs 111th Square’s gigantic America flag up the pole, during the “Posting of the Colors”.

A freshman at Portland Lutheran School, Morgan Sprengle, beautifully sings the National Anthem.

Everyone at the Fun-O-Rama pauses to pay respects to our nation, as the American Flag is raised.

“We thank our GABA VP Fred Sanchez and his wife Ann for welcoming the 2011 Fun-O-Rama to their 111th Square,” exclaimed the organization’s president, Lee Powell, of Lee Powell Insurance. “It was their tireless efforts in preparation, execution, and follow-through with the logistics and planning, that made this fun event happen.”

Colorful red, white, and blue canopies were set up around the parameter of 111th Square, giving the location a truly festive atmosphere. Under the canopies businesses, neighborhood organizations, and nonprofit groups set up displays and greeted the public.

After extending greetings from the Portland City Council, Commissioner Amanda Fritz sings “Happy Birthday”, a capella, to everyone at the event having a birthday in the month of May.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams is “arrested” by GABA Keystone Kop Alan Sanchez, and taken – not to jail – but to the event’s main stage.

Wishing everyone well, and officially opening the 2011 Fun-O-Rama, is Portland Mayor Sam Adams.

The event included a flag-raising ceremony, a neighborhood bike ride, big prize raffle, introductions of the participating organizations by host Fred Sanchez, and entertainment provided by local folks.

“Our Fun-O-Rama was a big success,” Powell commented. “I thank all of the sponsors, exhibitors, and entertainers who generously contributed their time, energy, and talent tp make this event memorable.”

2011 Fun-O-Rama Photo Album

Nicole Philpot entertains by singing “If I die young”.

Kevin Minkoff, CPA, “Not your ordinary beancounter”, sings several standards from the big band era.

Guests mingle at 111th Square as the Fun-O-Rama gets underway.

Bicyclists leave for a springtime ride around the Gateway area.

Professional entertainer “Tony Moretti” (George Gallegos) sings songs of Sinatra, including “New York, New York”.

Two of the many exhibitors include these two Neighborhood Chairs – Tom Lewis from Centennial Community Association and Arlene Kamura of Hazelwood Neighborhood Association.

Folks line up for a wiener or two at Frankie’s Franks.

Rodney Allen, William Dawson, and Andrey Terlyuk “rescue” Couper Croft – all these young men are volunteers with Multnomah County Search and Rescue.

Nathan Lewallen accompanies Nicole Roberts as she sings “Lean on Me”.

The Killian Singers, of Portland Metro Arts Center, sing three tunes – “I’ll Fly Away”, “Over the Rainbow”, and “An Irish Blessing”.

David Douglas School District Superintendent Don Grotting accepts a really big check – proceeds from the GABA Music Project – from the concert pianist who appears on the CD, Fred Sanchez.

A champion of Irish dance competitions, representing An Daire Academy of Irish Dance at Portland Metro Arts Center – Emily Abbassian performs.

Portland Christian Schools Superintendent Annette Johnson passes (in center) out awards to all bicyclists who completed the bike ride.

David Panichello of OptiCon and Deborah Higa of Mt. Hood Community College’s “Steps to Success Program” prepare more raffle tickets for drawing. Not seen here, at another table, was longtime GABA treasurer Karen Montez, who drew the winning tickets.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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