Brooklyn Park's summer youth program benefits from annual 'Gala'
Brooklyn neighbors flocked to the second annual "Friends of Brooklyn Park Gala" on Saturday, February 22, at Sacred Heart Church's new Meeting Hall. 133 attendees arrived, compared to 63 last year; and they enjoyed dinner with Music by Martingale, a dessert selection, and a silent auction. All proceeds were dedicated to helping pay the costs of Brooklyn Park's 2020 summer kids' program, now that Portland Parks and Recreation has withdrawn its support for financial reasons.
Board Members from the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association helped with the infrastructure and decoration for the evening, and some forty neighborhood and regional businesses donated items for the dinner and the silent auction.
Since PP&R stopped funding the popular program recently, a recyclable can and bottle drive, plus other fundraisers, are attempting to come up with the $27,000 needed for this year's summer youth program. Director Craig Montag, at the gala, told stories of his forty years at the park and the summer program, in which neighborhood kids now return as adults, with their own children.
Ben Tarne, Chair of the Friends of Brooklyn Park recyclables program, revealed the group has already raised over $1,500 for this summer – and the proceeds from the Gala added another $7,200, compared to last year's $2,700 – but that leaves over $18,000 still needed to fully fund this year's youth program.
A separate contest to "Pack the Shack" invited Gala attendees to donate funds for supplies for the Brooklyn Park Shack, which holds summer activity materials. "Founding supporters" identified during the slide show at the fundraising evening included Nathan Dewey, owner of Bear Paw Inn and Brooklyn Park Pub; Jim Houser of the Hawthorne Auto Clinic; Daryl and Marie Phillippi, longtime neighborhood supporters; Rose City Coffee Company; Rita Leonard, a correspondent for THE BEE; Brooklyn Center Suites; Heckmann and Thiemann Motors; Brooklyn Pharmacy; and the Greater Brooklyn Business Association.
Tarne added, "We are grateful for the continued support for our community and local businesses. No amount of planning would make our summer youth program happen without the generous, financial, in-kind and volunteer donations from the community.
"Our youth are lucky to have such a supportive neighborhood."
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