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Mt. Hood Community College fair gives sustainable tips and fixes broken items for community members.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: NICHOLAS GOSLING - Sharon Rindt works to fix a pair of jeans during the Repair Fair at Mt. Hood Community College.When Bernie Rafalski was growing up, he was always repairing broken toys. This hobby came in handy down the line when he had two kids of his own.

"When my sons were young, I was constantly fixing the toys they broke," recalls Rafalski. "I'd use glue, screws, and metal rods to make some pretty strong repairs – and I always told them not to test out how tough my fixes were."

Now Rafalski still enjoys fixing items, but it's no longer just for his family. He was one of the many people who brought his skills to the Community Conservation and Repair Fair at Mt. Hood Community College last weekend.

"Thank you to all our partners, sponsors and exhibitors who came together to put on our first-ever community conservation and repair fair at Mt. Hood Community College," said Troy Builta, MHCC's mapping and sustainability specialist. "We had an excellent turnout and anticipate continuing the event next year."

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: NICHOLAS GOSLING - During the event there were 30 stations set up by exhibitors which showcased conservation topics.From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7, more than 150 visitors went to have both their items fixed and to learn from the 30 exhibitors who had set up tables across the campus. Fourteen volunteer fixers were on hand.

Fair visitors brought 41 electrical items, 11 sewing machines and nine bikes to them to look at. They successfully repaired almost all of them.

Attendees learned how to reduce waste and save on water and energy from the partners, and had the opportunity to participate in a wide array of workshops.

Some of the topics included landscaping for clean water, do-it-yourself weatherization, lead poisoning prevention, building a backyard habitat, and food waste prevention.

"Our workshops and exhibitors offered great information and resources throughout the day on sustainable living and saving money," said Shaunna Sutcliffe, Gresham's residential recycling coordinator.

There were also plenty of fun learning activities for children.

Organizing the first-ever Community Conservation and Repair Fair at the college took a group effort. Some of the partners included the Mt. Hood Community College Sustainability Committee, city of Gresham, Multnomah County, Coalition of Gresham Neighborhood Associations, and the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: NICHOLAS GOSLING - The Community Conservation and Repair Fair at Mt. Hood Community College was a hit for visitors of all ages.

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