Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Local churches give back to community through 12th annual event at Sahalee Park.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - From left to right, Isidra Figueroa, Sesy Figueroa, and her daughter, Angelina Romera Figueroa, 7, head for the covered table area to eat their hotdog lunch during the Our Community Event on Saturday.Thousands turned out for the 12th annual Our Community Event - Faith in Action on Saturday, at Sahalee Park, where local churches got together to give back to the community.

STEELE HAUGEN/MADRAS PIONEER - Jose and Nora Adame take the stage at the 12th annual Our Community in the Park event at Sahalee Park on Saturday, which saw increased attendance.
Attendees were able to have a meal, including dessert, have pets checked by a veterinarian, get their bikes repaired, pick out some clothing, see a dentist, get a haircut, or have a portrait taken, while listening to music, all at no charge during the event, which ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"We went through 2,260 hot dogs," said Dawn Stecher, food organizer for the food court, who has been involved with the event from the start. "We went through probably 8 pounds of popcorn, we gave away about 1,800 bags of chips, and I think they went through about 1,400 root beer and orange cream floats."

Based on the numbers, Stecher said that this year's event was probably the second busiest ever for the food court.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - Ricardo Orozco, 7, was one of 11 lucky people who received a free bike at the event. Volunteer Amanda Norris, right, assists Ricardo with the bike.
"We went through 99 cases of water, at 24 per case; that's almost 2,400 waters," she said. "It was a great turnout; it started early and it was steady all day long."

This year, the bike area didn't have as many bikes to give away, but was busy with repairs.

"We fixed over 50 bike tires and several strollers and gave 11 bikes away," said Delita Cordes, who oversaw that area.

HOLLY M. GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - Organizer Gary Buss drives around the park to ensure that everything is running smoothly. 
Gary Buss, who organized the first event in 2008, agreed that the various booths and stations were busy all day. "We ran out of water by 11:30," he said, noting that they bought what they thought they would need, but ended up buying more.

"At 8:30, we had people lined up at the veterinary service," he said. "The dental people were triaged by 7 a.m."

Overall, with the kids at the splash park and playing in the kids' area, Buss thought the event was the busiest he has seen. "Oh my goodness!" he exclaimed.

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