A school thanks the community that helps to support it

DAVID F. ASHTON - Waving their handmade signs, SMS students thanked the community while walking north through Sellwood on S.E. 13th. It was more than just a walk on a lovely sunny day, for the students and teachers of Sellwood Middle School (SMS), on Tuesday morning, May 23. The SMS Marching Band, tuning up in front of the building, signaled that the school's annual "Community Celebration Parade" was about to begin.

The band was joined by other students, many of them carrying "thank you" signs and banners inscribed with names of Sellwood and Westmoreland businesses and organizations that support the SMS Foundation.

The route took the parade north through Sellwood on S.E. 13th Avenue, into Westmoreland and around east on S.E. Bybee Boulevard, where the SMS Marimba band played in the parking lot of Wilhelm's Portland Memorial. Then the parade resumed through the Westmoreland business district, returning to the school via S.E. Milwaukie Avenue.

"We do this every year, because we appreciate the way this community supports our school, students, and parents; this is our way of saying 'thank you' to all of them," smiled SMS Foundation Vice President Eilidh Lowery, at the march.

"Participating businesses are giving 10% of their sales to help support our foundation today," Lowery explained. "Our goal is to raise $4,000 today; and there are bunch of businesses that donate in-kind services, and still others donated ahead of time to pay for our Parade Permit!"

The parade is important for the school on many levels, reflected SMS Assistant Principal Marylyn John. "It's fun to see the signs, made by our students, showing their appreciation to those who are supporting us.

"There are so many of our neighbors and businesses involved with the school. This is a fun day for the kids, and it's a way to give back to our community," John told THE BEE.

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