The churches of Jefferson County are coming together once again to give back to the community during the Saturday, Aug. 7 Our Community in the Park Event.
"The purpose of the event is just to love on people," said event coordinator Gary Buss. "That's why we provide things like the free haircuts and the free family photos, and there'll be three service providers there from medical sites."
Buss is president of the Jefferson County Faith Based Network, the organization that oversees the project. Locals are welcome to visit Sahalee Park in Madras between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 7 for services, food and entertainment. Everything is free.
"There's food. If it's a warm day, you've got root beer floats, you have snow cones, there'll be a place for people to sit down and listen to live music," Buss said. "There's a lot of great informational tools out there, but a lot of it is also hands on where we can help people."
The event was a casualty of the pandemic last year, but local faith leaders are gearing up for a normal event – their 13th. Buss said they have served as many as 4,000 people during the one-day event.
Local churches and grants help fund the service event, and many give in-kind donations.
Volunteers and professionals donate their time and resources to offer family photos, haircuts, bicycle maintenance, auto services and veterinary services. Mosaic Medical, St. Charles and a dental van will be there, offering free visits. There will also be vision and hearing screens, and two providers will offer COVID-19 vaccines.
There will be free food and drinks, a clothing giveaway and live music. The Kids' Corner will feature bounce houses, crafts and activities near the water park.
"They have pinatas every hour that they break. The kids just have a great time," Buss said. "A lot of the adults will come in and enjoy the rest but then they just want to sit down in their easy chairs and watch their kids have a good time. Kids' Corner is a big deal."
Those looking for volunteer opportunities during Our Community in the Park Event may contact Buss.
He says the event is designed to benefit the general public, and he encourages the community to stop by Sahalee Park the first Saturday of August.
"Go down there, have a hot dog and a snow cone, get a shot, wander around, listen to some good music, and do it all the same day," Buss said.
Our Community in the Park Event
Date: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7
Location: Sahalee Park, Madras
To volunteer or for more information, contact event coordinator Gary Buss, 541-912-2515.
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