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We held our annual picnic in the park on a pleasant warm evening in August. Around 120 people attended, including many children, and several well behaved dogs. As usual we welcomed the Police and Fire services who dropped by for a visit. The fire truck was a big hit with the kids, who were allowed to climb aboard and pretend to be a firefighter.
Diets were left at home, as everyone tucked in to a great outdoor feast of hot dogs, tofu dogs, fruit, veggie sticks, chips, and lemonade. All rounded off with ice cream and popsicles. We enjoyed being entertained by Betsy on the fiddle. It was lovely to listen to Betsy fiddling about in the background. Nothing better than some good music down in the park.
We tend to avoid our usual meeting agenda on this evening of fun. No business talk! But we were happy to make an allowance for Amy and John (our playground project leaders) who made the exciting announcement that Marshall Park has been given a big grant from the State of Oregon. This is exciting news and it will be good to see all the improvements in the park next year.
People flocked to scoop up the trinkets and brochures available on the Free Table. And as usual, we had some fun with our free raffle. Our volunteers (notably Kathleen!) had been hitting up local business for prizes and she obtained a huge amount of swag to give away. So we had a Rapid Fire Raffle! There were 36 prizes given away in about 15 minutes! Many people went home with a prize, but on this good night, everyone was a winner.
At the end of the night we had some leftover food. Some brave volunteers braced themselves to chow down on all the remaining hot dogs! But better sense prevailed, and Carol took the food down to the Portland Rescue Mission on Burnside. They gratefully accepted our donation of 52 pounds of food from Marshall Park NNO. What a great way to end the evening!
Heartfelt thanks to all our wonderful volunteers. And BIG THANKS to all these local organizations who donated food and prizes: Baker and Spice, Central Bark, Fred Meyer, Fusion Cut and Color, Grand Central Bakery, Hillsdale Farmer's Market, Ice Cream Express, Ohana Party Rentals, Paloma, Portland Parks, Southwest Neighborhoods Inc., Starbucks Coffee (Burlingame, Hillsdale, and Multnomah Village), Tryon Creek Grill, Twisted Locks Salon, Uncle John's Market & Pizza, and Zupan's.