More neighborhoods add 2014 National Night Out events

Come along on our tour, and see how Mill Park, Parkrose, Lents, and Glenfair celebrated their annual community National Night Out …

Many families come to enjoy fun and a barbecue dinner at the 2014 Mill Park National Night Out Against Crime “Party in Mill Park”.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
On the first Tuesday of August, the traditional day to celebrate National Night Out Against Crime – this year it was August 5, many groups held events across outer East Portland. East Portland News was invited to four of these gatherings.

Party in Mill Park

Portland Fire & Rescue Mil Park Engine 7 Firefighter/Paramedic Jay Fink shows their rig to Sean and Ian Folstun.

This year, instead of having a “street party”, the Mill Park Neighborhood Association invited all of their neighbors to a “Party in Mill Park”, just east of Mill Park Elementary School on August 5 as their official National Night Out (NNO) event.

“This is good, because it brings our community together,” commented Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper.

Mill Park Neighborhood Association Chair Trevor Hopper and “co-conspirator” Lauren Mosbrucker take a break from organizing their event’s activities.

Neighbor volunteers Dawn Luethe, Anthony Lackey, and Sarah Rainwater cook up hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill.

“Good things happen when our community gets together, because it makes our neighborhood stronger and safer,” Hopper said. “By getting together, we learn to look out for one another.”

Helping him put on the event were the red-shirt-wearing “East Portland Rovers”, a loose-knit band of volunteers who live in many of the outer East Portland neighborhoods, and who help one another out on events. “And we’ve had another dozen folks pitching in.”

Division Midway Alliance District Manager Lori Boisen (and an East Portland Rover) spends a moment with volunteer Kem Marks.

East Portland Rover Brenda McSweeney, Chair of the Glenfair Neighborhood Association, makes snow cones in Mill Park.


Lents holds barbecue supper

The sign on the canopy marks the spot for the Lents National Night Out celebration.

For years, Judy and John Welch held an “Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social” in Lents Park on National Night Out evening.

“I’ve always liked the idea of National Night Out,” said Lents organizer Alys Allwardt. “Since they stopped doing the Ice Cream Social, we decided to have an event here at Pilgrim Lutheran Church this year.”

Alys Allwardt, event co-organizer Nancy Tingley, Joan Chakwin, and Don Kienholz and Angela Kienholz enjoy potluck barbecue dinners in Lents.

Since it was an official NNO event, and was held on August 5, Portland Police Bureau officers came by, as did Lents Neighborhood Association President Jesse Cornett.

“I think it’s really important for neighbors to know each other,” Allwardt told East Portland News. “We have not had as much opportunity to get to know our neighbors around our church. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to have it here.”

About 40 neighbors participated in the event.

Carolyn Tubbs (she made the delicious potato salad) and husband Calvin Tubbs say they’ve been members of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Lents since the late 1950s.


Parkrose Picnic in Senn’s Dairy Park

“Family Picnic” is the title of the Parkrose NNO Celebration.

Leaders of the Parkrose Neighborhood Association decided to host a bring-your-own-picnic-dinner gathering the evening of August 5 – and said they’d bring the dessert!

“It’s been a few years since we’ve had this party at Senn’s Dairy Park,” said Parkrose Neighborhood Association Chair Annette Stanhope. “It was before 2011 – so it’s been a few years.”

City of Maywood Park resident Joan Stevens volunteers at the Parkrose NNO celebration, as does Whitney Kabanuk Parkrose Neighborhood Chair Annette Stanhope.

She and volunteers set out lawn games, and prepared the dessert table near the park’s playground, as neighbors filtered in. “The theme tonight is ‘family picnic’,” Stanhope explained. “We are providing cake, bottled water, and some raffle prizes.”

“We decided to have it here because it seems this Park has not been used that much during the summer,” Stanhope said.

Neighbors gather for a picnic and dessert in Senn’s Dairy Park – the Parkrose National Night Out party.

“We wanted to remind people that we have a wonderful park here,” Stanhope added. “Also, coming out to this, people get to know one another. It’s good to get together, here in Parkrose.”


Elvis, ‘Jojo’ perform in Glenfair

Volunteers from the East Portland Rovers stand by to vend pizza at the Glenfair Neighborhood Association National Night Out party.

The Glenfair Neighborhood Association NNO celebration was held on August 7, in conjunction with a Portland Parks & Recreation “Movie in the Park” showing.

Again, members of the loose-knit East Portland Rovers volunteer group – mostly leaders from nearby outer East Portland neighborhoods – arrived to help out Glenfair Neighborhood Association Chair Brenda McSweeney.

East Portland Rover Barbara Klinger applies a tattoo to the arm of neighbor Quartsaye Pratcher.

“I’m so impressed on how people are working together,” McSweeney said about the Rovers. “This is a wonderful model of how people in East Portland neighborhoods come out to help one another.”

Elvis tribute artist Mark Stevenz poses along with organizer Glenfair Neighborhood Association Chair Brenda McSweeney, and a man who introduced himself simply as “Michael”.

Before the Movie in the Park, “The Nut Job”, there were performances for the gathering crowd by Elvis tribute artist Mark Stevenz and Michael Jackson tribute performer Michael Knight.

Several neighborhoods, including Centennial and Wilkes, also held celebrations that included live music and a Movie in the Park. National Night Out was again well-celebrated in outer East Portland.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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