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The block party, to take place from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., will benefit senior programs, including home meal delivery.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - The St. Helens Senior Center will host a block party Wednesday, August 24. The St. Helens Senior Center wants to spread the word that, after a lengthy COVID-19 closure, it's onward and upward for the center.

And to help celebrate that it's open, the center will be holding a block party 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, in the center's parking lot.

The block party, plus backing from local business sponsors, will support the home-delivered meals program and other senior programs sponsored by the St. Helens Senior Center.

Lynda Heller, the center's activities director, said, "We've been closed for two and a half years, so our block party is our way of dancing on the roof, waving our arms and saying, 'Hey, we're open. We're back here.'"

Lots of entertainment will be on hand at the event, including the Stone River Band. A dance class from the Evergreen Dance School will perform and lunches will be available in the dining room.

The Top Notch Thrift Store, whose sales benefit the senior center, will have tables set up to showcase their wares.

Medicare will have a table set up to answer questions. Visitors may also have a chance to meet candidates for office who might drop by.

"We're not political here," Heller said, "but we do want people to be informed."

As for food, Heller said, "We're going to have a hot dog stand, so people will have plenty of food if they don't want to go inside to eat."

Guests can also eat inside the center.

"If people decide they want to come in for lunch, we ask that they preregister," Heller said. "We'll have numbers."

Lunch for seniors is $5. It's a little more — $8 — for those under 55 years of age.

Heller admits that holding the block party on a Wednesday may not be convenient for all.

"I know there will be a heck of a lot of people who can't come, but word-of-mouth is fantastic," she said.

Heller said the idea is to bring people out to the St. Helens Senior Center.

"I want people to come and be here," she said, adding, "We expect it to be hot, so we're asking people who are going to be here to bring a canopy. We're going to have that hot dog stand and there will be cold water or sodas."

Heller continued, "I want people to know we're here, to know that there's lots of things to do and this is a great place to do them."

If you want more information, you can visit the center website at, or you can call Heller at 503-397-3377.

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