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Bride Alysa Garrick part of the last class of sixth-graders to matriculate through Park Place Elementary School

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Daniel Ahrens and Alysa Garrick celebrate their marriage Dec. 16 in the Alliance Charter Academy (Park Place Elementary) gymnasium.Why did Daniel Ahrens and Alysa Garrick recently choose a gymnasium at an old school in Oregon City for their wedding reception?

When choosing the venue, Garrick thought her old elementary/high school gym seemed like the perfect place for this soon-to-be teacher to celebrate her marriage.

Garrick was a part of the last class of sixth-graders to matriculate through Park Place Elementary School. After the school closed in 2010, the district began leasing the 1946 building to Alliance Charter Academy, where Garrick chose to graduate following her return from a missionary trip in East Africa.

Ahrens and Garrick were wed Dec. 16 at the Baker Pioneer Church in Carver. Celebrations ensued as they gathered family and friends at the Alliance Charter Academy (Park Place) gymnasium.

After graduation from Park Place, Garrick went on to Ogden and then Oregon City High School. However, in 2011, as a junior in high school, she joined her family for a three-month stint in East Africa where she served through Eternal Impact.

Garrick used vivid imagery in her scholarship-winning essay detailing her experiences working in a local coffee business in Uganda. The essay earned her a $500 scholarship toward her education at Warner Pacific College.

While helping to "caffeinate the world," she wrote that she saw firsthand how her uncle's local business helped people grow and lead better lives, which then inspired her to continue helping others by eventually opening her own student-focused community center where children can come to learn, play and impact the next generation.

You could say Ahrens and Garrick "fell for each other" while skydiving last fall. They met through a group of young people in the Missio Dei church community based in Oregon City, where her dad is the lead shepherd. They were going skydiving and Ahrens was invited by his brother to join the adventure.

There are more adventures ahead for this couple as they make their home in Estacada. Ahrens and Garrick plan to live in a travel trailer for the first couple of years of their married life.

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