Montavilla businesses host Santa

This Holiday event shows you don’t need to be fancy to be delightfully festive …

Families from all over the neighborhood, and outer East Portland, come to Montavilla to celebrate the season.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Bringing the Holiday spirit to Montavilla, the Wix Agency, a general lines insurance brokerage, moved their desks aside – creating a large “living room” in which to host members of the community.

“After we opened our office last year, a Montavilla resident stopped by to tell us that a previous tenant in our space held a similar event here,” said manager Carrie Wix Kieselhorst.

Gabe Kieselhorst sits with Carrie Wix Kieselhorst to visit with Santa, at the Montavilla Holiday get-together.

“We decided to make this a community event where families could come take photos with Santa Claus, and learn more about the Montavilla Food Co-op, and also the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA),” Kieselhorst remarked to East Portland News.

It was nothing formal – families dropped in; adults chatted; and kids played and made crafts throughout the day.

On behalf of the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association, Alema McCrea of AMC Bookkeeping and Tax Service offers gourmet hot chocolate, and asks for donations to help the business association fund the putting up of Christmas lights.

Montavilla Food Co-op volunteers Juli Rush and Shane Reaney fundraise for their organization.

Members of the Montavilla Food Co-op were on hand to share information about their organization, and raise funds selling hand-made pottery and glassware. “I make pottery, soap, and the lip balm, all to help support the co-op,” explained member Shane Reaney.

METBA volunteer Rita Hudson-Evalt owner of the Union Rose boutique, helps with kids’ crafts.

Luby Wind offers her cookies for sale, to raise funds for the Montavilla Food Co-op.

Also at the event was Luby Wind. “One of my best friends calls me a ‘therapy baker’ – which is true – and I made and brought some of my cookies to sell to help benefit the Montavilla Food Co-op, of which I’m a founding member.”

Parents take photos of their kids and dogs, in front of this winter scene.

Looking at the happy people gathered together, hostess Kieselhorst said she enjoyed seeing friends, and meeting neighbors that day.

“We are fortunate enough to live in the neighborhood as well as work here,” Kieselhorst said. “We don’t have kids, so it’s fun to watch our neighbors bring in their kids, and dogs, and make this a fun Holiday event for everyone.”

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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