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Woodstock pays for maintenance and upkeep at its Community Center; this sale is how it's paid for

COURTESY OF TONY FREIXAS - There were hundreds of plants to choose from - something for any garden or gardener - at the May 11th Woodstock Plant Sale, on the day before Mothers Day. The sale raises money to cover annual maintenance and cleaning costs of the Woodstock Community Center, where it is held. After the recent Woodstock neighborhood Plant Sale, Pete Adams – Financial Manager of the Friends of the Woodstock Community Center – reported gross sales of $7,851.00. "I haven't paid a single invoice or reimbursement yet," Adams clarified, "And we certainly purchased more product this year than we have in the past, but that looks like a great day!"

And indeed it was. The weather was pleasantly hot on Saturday, May 11, and the sale broke all previous records, netting more than enough funds to cover all custodial costs for the Woodstock Community Center for the coming year – that's what the funds were raised for. Taking care of the small Center is the main function of the Friends group, a committee of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA).

Terry Griffiths, who has been in the process of retiring from her longtime position as lead organizer for the annual plant sale, expressed gratitude for "so many, many people" who helped run this year's sale, donated plants, and organized the volunteer power to ensure its success. A record number of volunteers included eight provided through Portland Parks & Recreation, as arranged by PP&R Volunteer Coordinator Steve Pixley.

Any casual observer of the buzz around the Woodstock Community Center on that Saturday morning – or on the day before, when a bevy of volunteers spent the day sorting and pricing plants – would have seen it was "definitely a team effort," as Griffiths observed. She especially credited Sandy Profeta with being "way more to me than a right-hand person," and "contributing phenomenal computer skills" to help organize and publicize the sale.

Pete Adams, and Friends of the Woodstock Community Center's Chair Kitsy Brown Mahoney, were impressed by the number of credit card sales, made with the help of a smartphone app used for the first time this year. The amount of "swipes" they both made during the first nonstop hours of the sale convinced them that the availability of this option boosted sales greatly, as no one's purchase had to be limited by cash on hand. But many buyers did come prepared with cash; and either way, gardeners went away feeling thrifty, as the vast majority of plants were priced under $5.

Another reason given for this year's success was the many new neighborhood donors who brought very high quality potted plants to the sale, along with old-timers like Karen and Larry Krettler, who donated volunteer hours, in addition to the strawberry starts and tomato plants that they raised from seed. The Krettlers are the daughter and son-in-law of Jan Elliott, now in her 90s, who was raised in the neighborhood and was active as a WNA member for many years.

Of course, volunteers need to eat, and they were grateful for the donations of pizza, donuts, orange juice, and coffee, from Papa Murphy's, Safeway, and Papaccino's, respectively; as well as "Terry Clements' delicious quinoa salad," which has become a tradition – like the plant sale itself.

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