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An Eastmoreland block party with gambling? Well, it was all in a good cause - benefiting foster kids

DAVID F. ASHTON - Whilst playing casino games at the benefit Eastmoreland Block Party, guests Craig Dwyer and Christie Echeverri watch - as Joseph Echeverri tries to roll lucky 7s.A portion of S.E. 30th Avenue in Eastmoreland was blocked off for for a party in the street on Friday night, July 26 – with food, fun, and "casino games".

But, this the party was not just for fun, said Matt DeWolf, the organizer of what was called the "Eastmoreland Block Party".

"We're hosting about 100 friends and neighbors to benefit Portland children who are in foster care," DeWolf told THE BEE. "And, at the same time, we're bring our neighborhood awareness to what's going on to the foster [child care] community here in Portland."

The beneficiary of the proceeds is the 501c(3) nonprofit organization called "Embrace Oregon" which supports volunteers who partner with Oregon DHS Child Welfare services.

"I first became an 'Embrace Oregon' volunteer making 'welcome boxes' for the organization to give to foster families," DeWolf explained, "Which ultimately that led me to become a foster parent myself."

At the party, the "Embrace Oregon" Assistant Director for Strategic Partnerships, Kerri Thornton, succinctly defined their mission as being "a movement of the community to connect the community with vulnerable children and families in the foster care system."

Volunteers are always encouraged to step up and help, Thornton said, "Because in Multnomah County, on any given night, there are about 24 children spending the night in foster care; and there are not enough families to care for all of those children."

To learn more about "Embrace Oregon" and how to volunteer in the child foster care system; or to learn more about their upcoming October 12 "Casino Night" at the Portland Art Museum, go online – www.embraceoregon.org


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