Bull Mountain fest: Building community

The first Family Festival at the Mountain draws a wide range of participants
by: John Lariviere, CHOWING THEIR WAY TO VICTORY — Preston Yarger (left), 11, and Noah Shumway, 12, take first and second place respectively in a donut-eating contest during the Family Festival at the Mountain on Saturday. Contestants had to eat donuts suspended on a string without using their hands.

BULL MOUNTAIN - For a day, boundaries were forgotten as a group of Bull Mountain residents organized a Family Festival at the Mountain and invited everyone to come for food, fun and games Saturday.

There were loads of carnival games for kids under the covered play area at Alberta Rider Elementary School, and Jessica McGinley of Newberg brought her children - Mikey, 4, and Lily, 14 months - to the event.

Why would she come from Newberg? Because her mother-in-law Lisa Hamilton-Treick is running for a seat on the Bull Mountain city council, which will come into play if residents of the unincorporated area approve a measure to incorporate their own city on the November ballot.

Hamilton-Treick was pleased at the large turnout for the event.

'It's worked out well,' she said. 'I'm just delighted that it's brought neighbors together - that was our goal. I think people have appreciated it. We're hoping it will become an annual event.'

Hamilton-Treick even brought along her mother, Betty Hamilton, who lives in Summerfield and filled an important role at the event - she was one of four judges at the dog show.

'We gave out awards for the largest, smallest, best dressed, best trick and cutest,' Hamilton said. 'That little pug was so darling and the French bull dog. Fifteen dogs entered the contest - that was fun.'

Speaking of incorporation, Michael Todd, who lives in unincorporated Bull Mountain and was running one of the children's games, took no time in giving his opinion on the issue.

'I could get on my soap box,' he said. 'We pay taxes to Tigard, and no money is spent up here. We have had no improvements. Where did the money to develop Cook Park come from? It's time we formed our own city.'

By the way, Todd is 13 and a student at Twality Middle School.

His mom, Sue Todd, running a game beside Michael, added, 'I'm not responsible for anything he says. But one of my reasons for voting for incorporation is to maintain the character of Bull Mountain.'

Michael, who has lived on Bull Mountain for 12 years, just wishes he could vote.

Pete Shumway, who was helping out at the event, was happy with the steady stream of people who kept coming by.

'There's a lot of energy here,' Shumway said, noting that he had not been keeping score of who was from Tigard and who was from Bull Mountain.

'I can't spot a city person,' he said. 'We're just trying to build a community atmosphere here.'

Over at a table set up for people to ask questions about the incorporation process and grill the city council candidates, Ken Henschel and Wynne Wakkila held court for a while later in the afternoon.

'Our government will be lean,' Henschel said, listing the first six positions that would be filled if incorporation occurs.

Other activities at the event included music provided by Overdrive, food, a classic car show, a silent auction, sales of books, bulbs and bags, and a demonstration by the Washington County bike patrol.

Dianne Hill, one of the organizers of the event, called it a great success.

'I've gotten lots of calls,' she said. 'Everybody has been so positive and thanking us for doing something with no fussing or fighting.'

Hopefully, the acrimony that has existed between Tigard and the residents of Bull Mountain since the city attempted to annex the unincorporated area is now a thing of the past.