Gateway ‘Fun-0-Rama’ Parade and Fair suspended for ’09

Find out why – and see what event the Gateway Area
Business Association plans for later this summer …

Members of the Gateway Area Business Association dine at their new location, Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes, on a meal prepared by Cherrywood Loaves & Fishes.

Story by Watford Reed and David F. Ashton, photos by David F. Ashton
One “first” after another, for the Gateway Area Business Association – when it held its first meeting at a new site on February 12 – Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes (OBRH), in the Gateway area.

At tables set in the OBRH Community Room, about 30 GABA members dined on clam chowder and gourmet sandwiches catered by the Cherrywood Loaves & Fishes. “All of the money we’re collecting for the lunches is donated to the Cherrywood Center,” explained GABA’s VP, Lee Powell, a Farmers Insurance agent.

Lee Powell, GABA’s vice president, surprised many when he announced the organization would not be mounting Fun-0-Rama festivities in May.

May 2009 Fun-0-Rama: CANCELLED
After the regular introductions and announcements, Powell surprised many of the gathered business people when he announced that the popular Gateway Fun-O-Rama Parade & Community Fair – typically held in May – has been suspended this year. “When our executive committee looked at the required tasks to be done, and the time lines, we realized we were too far behind to hold the Fun-0-Rama this year.”

Instead, he said, the organization would work to expand the National Night Out celebration program held at OBRH in the fall.  To avoid a potential conflict with the August 1 Parkrose Business Association Festival and Cruise-in, OBRH and GABA chose to host their event on Saturday, August 8.

OBRH executive director, Keith Milsark, tells how their organization is planning for growth in the older demographic.

OBRH prepares for ‘baby boom’
The main speaker at the meeting was Keith Milsark, who has been OBRH’s executive director since August 1.  With 73 million Americans in the “baby boom wave” about to break over American society, he said their organization is bracing for a “booming influx” of older folks who need good, affordable housing.

Milsark said he left a similar job at a retirement home at historic Williamsburg, Virginia. He told how moving his family across the country – as a middle aged adult – was a big job. He contrasted his experience with the work needed to move an elderly man or woman from their home into some type of senior-housing facility.

Milsark says his cross-country relocation made it easier to understand the difficulty the elderly have when considering moving from their home into a senior facility.

He also told the group of their board’s plans to expand OBRH. They purchased three nearby homes last summer, and are looking to acquire perhaps one more lot. He added that the homes will help elderly folk “bring home with you”, by allowing pets.

Meet the members on March 12
The Gateway Area Business Association next meets on March 12. Networking starts at 11:30 AM. This month, Dawn Rasmussen, Pathfinder Writing and Career Services will speak.

The Gateway Area Business Association next meets on March 12. Networking starts at 11:30 AM. This month, Dawn Rasmussen, Pathfinder Writing and Career Services will speak.

GABA meetings are now held at Oregon Baptist Retirement Homes, 1825 NE 108th Avenue (just north of NE Weidler Street, in the Community Room – just west from where NE Schuler Street dead-ends into 108th Avenue). They ask that you park on the street, not in the parking lots. For more information, see

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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