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A new family-oriented afternoon in Westmoreland Park gains traction in its third year

DAVID F. ASHTON - The band Whiskey Deaf offered a unique take on traditional bluegrass, old-time, and early Country music, at the third annual Portland Picnic in Westmoreland Park. It seems that almost everyone enjoys a picnic in the summertime – so there was a strong turnout when a local merchant again teamed up with a worthy nonprofit organization to present their third annual "Portland Picnic" in Westmoreland Park, in the afternoon and evening of Saturday, July 13.

The "Portland Picnic" was started by Emily and Travis Motter of the Portland Bottle Shop in Sellwood – and has continued as a family-friendly fundraiser for the nonprofit "Ride Connection", an organization dedicated to coordinating and providing transportation services to people with limited options in the greater Portland area, for more than 25 years.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Picnic hosts Travis and Emily Motter invites guests to sample fine wines, brought in from all over the world - in the Portland Bottle Shop Tasting Tent, a fundraiser for the nonprofit Ride Connection. "While it is for a good cause, we started the 'Portland Picnic' to have a fun, free family festival in our neighborhood; one that brings people together and creates a good sense of community," said Emily Motter, who is also Chief Development Officer at Ride Connection as well as co-owner of The Portland Bottle Shop on S.E. 13th Avenue.

Motter said they were expecting upwards of 5,000 guests at the big outdoor picnic – which also included live music, an "Olde World Puppet Theatre" play area, and many local food vendors.

"We're really appreciative of the community support of our event," Motter told THE BEE, which also helped out as a sponsor. "It's wonderful being part of such a wonderful community where you could do something like this, and people show up to be a part of it."

Many visitors did bring picnic lunches, and lounged on the park's grass while they dined; while others patronized vendors. Many, no matter which way they lunched, also availed themselves of wine-tasting tickets, and sampled some of the special wines brought in from all over the world.

"Partnering with local restaurants and companies as vendors is important to us, so we can help showcase Inner Southeast Portland businesses to our guests," Motter remarked. "The event's a success because of all of the local people who are involved – especially our 100 volunteers! They all really made the difference."

With the afternoon in the park underway, and music playing and neighbors talking, Motter said she could "relax a little" and enjoy it. "The best part of this, for me and Travis, is seeing everybody having a great time; and then, hearing about it from all the people who had a good experience here – and who say they're looking forward to it again next year."

Learn more about the benefiting organization, Ride Connection, online – www.rideconnection.org


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