‘SunnyCity’ again brightens summer Sunday

Discover to where this fun, family outer East Portland event moved – and learn about their August health free clinic event …

Having moved to the Mill Park neighborhood, ‘SunnyCity’ again returns, providing a day of fun, family activities.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For several years, the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church sponsored a family celebration called “SunnyCity” at Ventura Park, in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Then, it vanished – evaporating like a cloud on a warm summer’s day.

Enjoying crafts at this year’s “SunnyCity” celebration is Andrea Avdeev.

This imaginary town popped up again this July 2 – but this time on the campus of Portland Adventist Academy in the Mill Park neighborhood, just east of I-205, facing SE Market Street.

With SunnyCity up and running again, volunteer organizers Elise Holcombe and Lorraine Jacobs spend a moment with Pastor Jonathan Russell.

“We realize that this is the Independence Day long holiday weekend, and a lot of people in our neighborhood that are staying home this year, and wanted to do something both fun and patriotic – something where families can get together for a great, fun event,” smiled Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Lead Pastor Jonathan Russell.

This time, SunnyCity was a partnership between their church, Adventist Health, and the school, Russell said.

Wyatt Cox gets face art provided by volunteer painter Prisma Flores.

“And you’re right; it’s not the first SunnyCity – it happened for about three or four years in a row in different parks – but it ceased to exist about four years ago,” Russell conceded.

“The lawn here at Portland Adventist Academy provided a good space for it; it’s close to the freeway and the TriMet Green MAX Light Rail line, and that made it easy for us to put it together here,” Russell told East Portland News.

The most popular attractions appeared to be the free snow-cones and the face-painting, and kids also enjoyed playing in the bounce houses.

There is always time for fun in the bounce house.

In the photo booth, Caroline Evanado – holding Noelle – gets ready for a photo with flag-holding Serene and Christine Evanado.

And, many curious adults were attracted to the “Stroll-in Colon” – a large inflatable reproduction of this necessary body part that both provided information about colon cancer, as well as cool shade – under the exhibit where the sun couldn’t shine, on a steamy hot summer afternoon.

“Events like this are important to the mission of our church; our mission is ‘To inspire a community of people toward lives transformed by Jesus’,” the pastor said. “We can’t inspire people unless we are connected. We believe that our mission calls us to inspire people to be more connected to the community, as well as inspire them to lives of faith.”

At the SunnyCity event, Jenny Jin stands inside the “Stroll-in Colon”, inviting guests inside the oversize body part to come to this year’s Impact Your Health PDX, to be held in August.

Impact Your Health PDX returns in August
Also at SunnyCity, volunteers promoted “Impact Your Health PDX”, which is coming on Friday, August 18, and again on Sunday, August 20, providing free clinic days to Portland residents.

“They’ll be providing free dental and vision care, offered without background checks or qualification requirements, on a first come, first served basis,” Russell said, “with limited healthcare assessments and physicals provided by our physicians, on site.”

The clinics, running from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., will again be located at the Portland Adventist Academy Gym, located at 1500 SE 96th Avenue, 97216.

For more information, email them at ImpactHealthPDX@gmail.com.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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