Mark your calendars, bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets and come with your family and friends

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Duane GarnerHere we are in the heat of summer and finally all the restrictions from COVID-19 are now behind us.

Usually, there is quite a bit of planning that goes into preparing community events and programs, but this year, I find myself barely hanging on. It's not been easy to figure out what we would be able to offer the community this year, not knowing when, or if, we would be able to do certain things.

However, one thing is for certain, the Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation has pulled it off, and we are going to be launching Movies in the Park again this summer. We have six shows planned for you, and they will take place downtown at Stryker Park on Friday evenings.

There are two primary purposes for these events. We are creating an enjoyable family-friendly activity where people can get together and enjoy each other's company, and we are taking the opportunity to profile various nonprofit organizations and other worthy causes around the community and allow them to get the word out about the good work they are doing around here.

The Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation focuses on supporting community projects and raises funds to provide recreation scholarships for anyone in Crook County who needs a little help in order to participate in a healthy activity. This program is called Happy Healthy Hearts, and the foundation has helped hundreds of individuals in Crook County be able to sign up for soccer, baseball, flag football, basketball, arts and crafts, performing arts, gymnastics, swim team, and many other activities.

The program provides up to $75 per person up to three times per year to go toward these types of activities. For many individuals and families, these funds make the difference between being able to sign up for these activities or not. The way you are able to access the funds is by filling out an application from our website (, and you also need to have someone vouch for you as a reference. The reference can be a coach, teacher, social worker, pastor, priest, health care worker, counselor or other unbiased person.

Movies in the Park is a fundraiser for the foundation, and we are asking businesses and organizations to help sponsor this free community event and help support our efforts. If you would like to get your business name up on the big screen and be a sponsor, please contact me. I would be happy to visit with you more about it (541-447-1209). You can also find sponsorship information on our website.

So here is the schedule: Movies will be Friday nights, food and vendors will be available starting at 7 p.m. and the movie will start at dark. The first movie, "Raya," is this Friday, July 16. "Cool Runnings" follows on July 23, "Abominable" shows July 30, "Frozen II" on Aug. 13. "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" is featured on Aug. 20, and we wrap up the summer with "Wonder Woman (1984)" on Aug. 27.

Mark your calendars, bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets and come with your family and friends. We will have lots of popcorn and snacks. See you at the park!

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