Serving up summer
As advocates for the agriculture industry, members of the Boring-Damascus Grange take every opportunity to showcase their communities' rich bounty. On June 10, the spotlight was on fresh, local strawberries as the volunteers served up their annual Strawberry Waffle Breakfast.
Besides providing the community with a healthy, wholesome breakfast and celebrating the return of strawberry season, the event serves as a fundraiser for the grange.
Every year, proceeds from the members' delicious waffles go to repair or remodel the grange hall at 27861 S.E. Grange St., Boring. In past years, the money has allowed the grange members to buy new windows, new doors and have a lift elevator installed.
Throughout the past decade, the grange hall kitchen has seen many a waffle — among other things — created and served from its counter. This year, the grange members hope to remodel the kitchen that has fed so many.
Marlin Marsh, a member of the grange's executive committee, said the event also serves as a community gathering where people come from around the county "for the fresh strawberries and seeing the people they haven't seen since last year."
"I think a lot of people in the community look forward to it," Marsh noted.
Jan Edmondson was one of several grange members working behind the counter Sunday, as she has done for 11 years.
"The Strawberry Waffle Breakfast is a great chance for the community to come in and get together," Edmondson added.
Among the volunteers at this year's shindig were several political incumbents and candidates, acting in their roles as public servants.
"They get to socialize and present themselves," Marsh said. "The event also pulls in a few new volunteers (and) increases community involvement. Hopefully it will aid in growing the grange membership."
In attendance were House District 52 Rep. Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River), District 26 Sen. Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River), District 20 Sen. Alan Olsen (R-Canby) and Clackamas County Commissioners Martha Schrader and Ken Humberston.
"It was another great opportunity for me to connect with constituents in my district. The Boring-Damascus Grange isn't in House District 52, but as a grange it serves as a community resource and space — a place to meet neighbors from the area but is also welcoming to all," Helfrich told The Post in an email. "I believe that granges are more important now than ever for members of small communities to connect with one another. Over great waffles and strawberries, great company and conversations were had. I was able to connect with numerous constituents, introduce myself and my staff, hear their ideas and concerns, and discuss how we could work together to best address them."
Aside from the breakfast, the Boring grange members served their community in several other ways. In August, they'll participate in the Boring, Dull and Bland festivities by serving up hot dogs and hamburgers fresh from the grill.
They also host two large community sales — a holiday bazaar and the well-known Anything Goes Sale — throughout the year.
"I like the community activities we're involved with," Marsh said. "That's something that's meaningful that people support, rather than just being a fraternal organization."