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The torch passes

n St. Anthonys new fundraiser a worthy successor to spaghetti feed


by: COURTESY PHOTOS: DIANA WUERTZ - (L to R) Andrea Marin, Julian Delgado, Alan Olvera and Venezia Pazos dress up in their best vaquero (cowboy and cowgirl) attire for St. Anthonys new Summer Fest fundraiser and for their performance of traditional vaquero dances. Summer Fest has taken the annual-fundraiser mantle from the spaghetti feed’s shoulders at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Forest Grove.

“Oh my gosh, it was over-the-top, awesomely good,” said Becky Pettit, a fundraising-committee member who helped organize the Aug. 25 carnival of food, music and fun.

The church’s spaghetti feed raised $17,000 when it started 28 years ago, but had dwindled to $2,000 last year — an amount Pettit hoped to surpass with Summer Fest.

“We’re going to walk away with (at least) $4,000,” she said.

Ten percent of the money goes to the St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank, which is run by St. Anthony’s, and the rest goes to general church support. Anela Gaumond (left) and Grayden Vandehey dig in for a pie-eating contest at Summer Fest, which also featured a watermelon-eating contest for adults. People stood out in the rain to watch the pie-eating contests, said Becky Pettit, a festival organizer.

Based on food and beverage sales, Pettit estimated nearly 900 people attended.

The Filipino booth sold out all its food by 4 p.m., she said.

“I called a Hispanic lady and said, ‘You guys sold way more than (the planned-for) 300 servings. Did you miscalculate the meat?’ She said, ‘No, we went and bought more.’”

Although the fair featured everything from pony rides to dancing, music and games, Pettit was pretty sure the watermelon and pie-eating contests were people’s favorites. “People stood out in the rain to watch the pie-eating contests. It was hilarious just watching people get soaked.”

Master drummer Rollo jams with some of the youth attending Summer Fest, which offered music, games, pony rides, emergency vehicles, food, dancing and more.Pettit was also moved by all the community members who pitched in to make the event a success, including firefighters and police officers, who brought their vehicles.

“Everybody just had a blast.”



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