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Spudtacular event will take place Sept. 21 to raise funds for Powell Butte Community Center

PHOTO COURTESY OF BOWMAN MUSEUM - Farmers stand in a Netted Gem potato field in Powell Butte in early 1900s.

Although Powell Butte has held its annual Fall Fest for a number of years, this will be the first time the community has done a festival to commemorate its potato-growing history.

The event is an annual fundraiser for the Powell Butte Community Center.

"In the past it was called Fall Fest, and wasn't as successful last year as hoped," indicated fundraiser participant Teena Shields.

One of their members suggested an event that would focus on their potato-growing history. They had a local Powell Butte resident develop a logo for their event, and this will be the first time they have offered competitions for both kids and adults.

In addition, David Hale, from the Bowman Museum, has written a small manuscript on the history of the Powell Butte potato industry. He will be presenting his research at the event that afternoon at the community center.

"He has spent a great deal of time on it," said Shields.

Hale indicated that, upon being approached about doing history of the potato history of Powell Butte, it sparked a lot of interest on his part.

"I went from there," he added about his research for the project.

Shields added that they will be donating a book from his presentation to sell at the event.

"We appreciate the Bowman Museum for sure," she emphasized.

The community center is trying to reach out to the general Central Oregon area. They are in the process of establishing their first student scholarship, and the first scholarship will be given in 2020. Once Spudtacular is over, Shields added that she will be visiting high schools in both Redmond and Prineville to try to establish a scholarship for a Powell Butte student.

"That's new and we are hoping to keep that ongoing," she said.

The Powell Butte Community Center is fully funded through the rental of the building and donations they receive from the community.

"We are trying to keep our doors open and provide a gathering place for our community," explained Shields.

Except for the Powell Butte Christian Church, there really isn't another place for residents to gather, because it is a small area.

"We are starting to grow, but we are a small town," said Shields.

She indicated that three years ago the approximate population of Powell Butte was approximately 2,600 and that has number has almost doubled since that time.

The Community Center began with the Powell Butte Farmers Club. They collectively decided to donate the building of the center on approximately 30 acres of county-donated land. It is located next to the Powell Butte Fire Station on Rife Road.

The building was done in 2007, and the Farmers Club has since disbanded. It has fell upon the small volunteer board of four to five participants who are local residents of the Powell Butte Community Center to keep the building going and offer activities for the community.

"So far, I think we have done a pretty good job," said Shields.

She added that there are a number of programs open to the public. Once in a while, there is a modest charge to the leader of the program, because they renting the building for their activity.

"Each group gives a modest donation to the center for its use," said Shields.

Other uses include community service events.

The Spudtacular event will include a baked potato bar, and there will be vendor booths, a silent auction, and a number of contest for adults and younger participants.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will wrap up at 4 p.m. Ken McCulloch, a local Powell Butte resident, will provide music from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sidebar

Spudtacular Potato-themed fundraiser to benefit the Powell Butte Community Center

Satuday, Sept. 21

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

8404 SW Reif Road, Powell Butte

Kids contest: begin at 9:30

Ken McCulloch begins music at 10 a.m.

Adult contests begin at 10 a.m.

Lunch: $10 Baked Potato bar/salad bar will be catered by Tate and Tate Catering.

$5 Corn Dog and Potato chips

Presentation by David Hale from the Bowman Museum begins at 2 p.m.

Raffle drawing for week of Eagle Crest Resort at 3:05

Silent Auction closes at 3:10

Event ends at 4 p.m.

For more information, call 559-289-7750


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