Powellhurst-Gilbert kicks off string of National Night Out parties

This story shows what happens when folks get involved in their neighborhood …

At this National Night Out event, community organizations (NET volunteers), government agencies (Portland Department of Transportation), and emergency first responders (AMR Ambulance) are all on hand to provide valuable information.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It’s a good thing that, officially, “National Night Out against Crime” (NNO) events can be held anytime during a 10-day period in the first week of August, which gives many neighborhoods the opportunity to participate.

The first major event in outer East Portland was the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association’s Saturday afternoon and evening NNO party on August 3.

There’s no better fun than jumping in a big “bounce house”, say these excited kids.

Neighbor and volunteer Lyle Boisen cooks up some of the hundreds of hot dogs given away to guests at the event.

Co-organizers Thomas Barnes and Barbara Klinger stand ready to read the names of lucky winners in the raffle.

“Barb Klinger is officially in charge,” pointed out the ever-involved volunteer Thomas Barnes.

“We volunteer to organize, promote, set up, and host this ‘neighborhood-wide party’ to make a space for people in our geographically large neighborhood to come together,” Barnes said.

Showing his abundance of “kid power”, Cody Barnhart climbs the wall brought by Portland Parks and Recreation.

A member of the “East Portland Roaming Volunteers”, Wilkes Community Group Chair Joyce Ley provides “treasure maps” – and redeems the completed maps for prizes.

The theme of their NNO event was “Pirate Party” – and visitors were encouraged to “find gold” by taking a pirate map to the booths and vendors situated under the trees of Earl Boyles Park. The fun continued at dusk, with a Portland Parks & Recreation “Movie in the Park” presentation of The Pirates! Band of Misfits, shown on their giant, 268-square foot screen.

Organized last summer, neighborhood volunteers from all over the mid-County area – calling themselves the “East Portland Roamers” – arrived to lend a hand at exhibit booths and entertainment areas.

East Portland Roamer, and Glenfair Neighborhood Association Chair, Brenda McSweeney prepares snow cones – which really hit the spot on a hot afternoon.

PDX Teen Idol Lindsay Spear, a senior at Wilson High School, performs for an appreciative crowd.

Portland Fire & Rescue Firefighter and Paramedic Pete Neal, from Fire Station 11, shows neighbors one of the water nozzles fire crews carry to fires.

To learn more about the activities of the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, CLICK HERE. Or, to discover all neighborhoods served by the East Portland Neighborhood Office, CLICK HERE.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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