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Sellwood Middle Schoolers march to thank supporters

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - The Sellwood Middle School students show their appreciation to local supportive merchants by holding Thank You signs. Sellwood streets were filled with music, dance, and demonstrations of gratitude, on May 20, when the “Sellwood/Westmoreland Community Appreciation Day Parade” stepped out from Sellwood Middle School promptly at 11 am.

Led off, and protected by, Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division motorcycle officers, the school’s Dance Team and Marching Band were followed by the entire student body and staff members.

The cheerful procession crossed S.E. Tacoma Street on 15th Avenue, headed west on Spokane Street, marched north through “Antique Row” on 13th Avenue, and around the curve at Wilhelm’s. The parade then snaked into Westmoreland on S.E. Bybee Boulevard, before heading back south on Milwaukie Avenue, to Sellwood and back to the school.

“This is a combined effort of the Sellwood Middle School PTA and the SMS Foundation,” explained organizer, and parent volunteer with the SMS Foundation, Wendy Cogan.

“About 50 Sellwood-Westmoreland businesses donated funds that day to the Sellwood Middle School Foundation, which is our fundraising organization dedicated to maintaining vital educational programs,” Cogan said. “The parade is to honor local businesses who help our school sustain vital school programs – such as art, music, foreign language, and physical education.”

Contacting the businesses, doing the fundraising, and then organizing the parade is a major endeavor undertaken by many volunteers, Cogan remarked. “But, we all feel it’s well worth the effort – giving positive support and recognition to the businesses who support us.”