Volunteers polish Gateway business district

Discover why this band of folks celebrated Earth Day picking up trash in this outer East Portland neighborhood business district …

Volunteer Donna Kauffman checks in with Venture Portland Business District Organizer Calvin Hoff.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton

April and May have been busy months for members and friends of the Gateway Area Business Association (GABA) neighborhood business district.

To celebrate Earth Day on April 22, about 20 GABA members and volunteers gathered in front of Riverview Community Bank, ready for what they called “SOLVE IT Takin’ Care of Business: Gateway Spring Clean-up”.

Ready to help pick up litter is GABA President Paul Wild.

“Because we received a grant from the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability through the East Portland Neighborhood Office, we’re able to hold this cleanup,” explained GABA President Paul Wild, the Organization Development Partner from Mt. Hood Community College.

“We’re out helping clean the area, making it look nicer and more appealing,” Wild told East Portland News. “Doing this helps neighbors and shoppers feel more comfortable about coming to visit businesses.”

Volunteers check in and get supplies as the “SOLVE IT Takin’ Care of Business: Gateway Spring Cleanup” gets underway.

Ready to head out, volunteers gather for a “team photo”.

Having a clean environment goes beyond supporting businesses, Wild said. “We’re doing this for the good of our entire community; making sure it’s a viable and livable place and people want to visit and live. By making an investment in our community, we’re all better off.”

After the volunteers warmed up with coffee provided by Riverview Community Bank, the sun broke through the rain clouds, and the group set off, trash pickers and bags in hand, working eastward to the end of the couplet – where they gathered for lunch at the Gateway Pancake House.

Don Angell and Gina Angell help pick up trash in the Gateway area.

When they’d finished, the group determined they’d collected about 800 pounds of trash, which is nearly double what they scooped up last year.

Gateway ‘Celebrates Small’

With their “Gateway Celebrates Small” passports hand, GABA members gather for a “Celebrate Small Business” weekday evening event.

Then, on May 3, GABA members and guests attended an after-hours event at Hour to Midnight Escape Room Games.

“This evening, we’re introducing our spring promotion called ‘Gateway Celebrates Small’: A ‘passport’, featuring 17 area businesses,” explained GABA Secretary Karen Montez of KPM Business Services. “This passport is being mailed to 1,300 residents in the area, and is available at the participating businesses as well – to introduce neighbors to businesses in the Gateway business district.

“When people take their passports in to the participating businesses during the month of May, they will receive stickers that will allow the passports to be entered into a drawing for great prizes,” said Montez.

To learn more, and to get a print-it-yourself PDF file to download, go online: CLICK HERE.

And, to stay up-to-date with GABA, visit their Facebook page: CLICK HERE.

> On our Front Page: Lucy Vongdeuan, with Lili, pick up trash during the annual GABA neighborhood clean-up.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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