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Tenth Brooklyn Ice Cream Social proves a hot-weather hit

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Face painter Lee Loona works on Addison, age 4 - watched by mom Kirsten, and 11-month-old Knox.For the tenth time in a decade, the successful recipe for the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association was “Bring on the ice cream, bring out the fun!”

The inexpensive ice cream bars offered as a centerpiece for a family day in Brooklyn Park was a welcome response to the summer heat wave, and also to local students’ first week back at school.

Sponsored by the BAC, the Sunday, September 9th, celebration allowed neighbors to catch up on each others’ summer adventures and local gossip, while enjoying family fun at “old time prices”.

Portland Parks & Recreation's portable Rock Climbing Wall was again a hit with teens, and the bouncy castle as always attracted the youngsters. Music by The Yamhillbillies wafted across the park, while balloon sculptor “Gentle Biff” and face painter “Lee Loona” plied their trades. Portland Fire Bureau Engine 20 visited from Bybee Boulevard, with the firefighters giving out stickers and cab “tours”.

Rebecca Andersson and daughter Ina from “The Warehouse” explained to THE BEE that their food buying club, “Know Thy Food”, plans to expand into a neighborhood grocery store, featuring locally-raised organic foods. “In 2 years we've grown from 200 to 900 members,” she reported. “We just got in some new refrigerators, and we also have a kitchen tool lending library of juicers, canning equipment, and dehydrators, to loan out for fall harvest preservation.”

Thema Skelton Loaves & Fishes Center volunteers sold hot dogs and Polish dogs, drinks, and snacks. These were topped off by cool ice cream and fruit bars sold by BAC volunteers for 25 cents.

The Brooklyn Historical Society offered a booth explaining MAX Light Rail progress, which prompted conversations about the changing face of the neighborhood. Other booths offered information on the Kitchen Share program, and the Children’s Creative Learning Center near Fred Meyer headquarters off S.E. 28th.

A new booth gave information about the recently opened Brooklyn Community Garden overlooking the Willamette River, as well as an upcoming BCG fund-raiser at Tastebud Restaurant.

BAC Chairman Mike O’Connor hosted a free raffle giveaway for prizes donated by local businesses. “The Ice Cream Social has become one of our major events,” he smiled. “It takes about two months of planning, but we have very efficient set-up and take-down crews, and a grant to cover most expenses.”

Events such as this one enhances Brooklyn’s “village” character, in spite of the many changes -- such as the current light-rail demolition and construction along S.E. 17th – over its past 150 years.