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Family of Friends mentoring leads fall festival at Liepold Farms for its matches

OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Liepold Farms fall festival had a corn and hay maze, kids pavilion and plenty of pumpkins. A group of mentors and their kids made the most of a sunny fall afternoon by exploring a local pumpkin patch.

Fifteen pairs from Family of Friends mentoring got to experience all the fun at Liepold Farms fall festival Sunday afternoon, Oct. 21. The popular Boring farm, 14050 S.E. Richey Road, had a corn and hay maze, pumpkin patch, kids' pavilion, and plenty of tasty food and places to explore.

"All of our kids and mentors love events like this," said Allison Yoder, program manager. "They get to explore something together."

The mentors, which can be families, couples or individuals, provide another positive force in a child's life. They help guide positive behavior while supporting parents who are trying to make ends meet. The children are usually in elementary school, and could stay with their mentor all the way through high school.

Before coming to Gresham a little over two years ago, yearly pumpkin patch outings were one of the most popular mentoring events for Family of Friends. This year was the first time they were able to make space in the budget to support a pumpkin outing since relocating to East Multnomah County. Family of Friends sponsors the event, so the mentors and children can attend without paying the fees.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - Leah, 10, and her mentor Carole Linneman had a fun day at Liepold Farms during a Family of Friends mentoring outing Sunday, Oct. 21. Ten-year-old Leah was excited to be at the festival with her mentor Carole Linneman. The two were matched almost four months ago, and already have filled their time together with fun activities like tea parties and trips to the library.

"I love pumpkin patches. They are so much fun," Leah said. "I'm excited to go through the corn maze, and I won't be scared because I've been through one before."

These and other Family of Friends events are made possible through support by the community. Before the end of the year, they will go rock climbing and engage in a holiday craft night.

Family of Friends is a volunteer group that uses a community of mentors within East Multnomah County to support vulnerable children.

To learn more about Family of Friends, become a mentor, or provide financial support, visit www.family-of-friends.org.

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