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A day of serving others

Free services, food, fun given away at Our Community in the Park

by: Photo by Susan Matheny - A girl gets her hair cut by a volunteer. One of the health checkup vans is visible in the background.

Numbers were somewhat down, possibly due to searing heat and the new location, but the fifth annual Our Community in the Park all-day giveaway went very well, according to organizer Gary Buss.
   "It was a hot, hot day, but for a lot of the day, it was wall-to-wall people," Buss said.
   Because the new Madras City Hall is being constructed in the area where the event was held in the past, Our Community in the Park shifted to the grassy area just to the east, and wasn't as visible from the highway.
   Buss reported over 150 volunteers from churches in town, operated 27 different venues out of 34 shade tents -- all for free.
   That included five hair cutters who clipped hair all day long, three photographers who took family photos, a new acupuncture booth, three medical vans (one for veterans), and a dental van which had a line of people already waiting at 5:50 a.m.
   In the kids corner, over 400 kids were recorded jumping through one of the bounce houses before the attendee gave up counting, and a pinata was broken open every hour.
   "We had several thousand people come, and there were 45 people in line at the hot dog stand at one point. It was a pretty magical day," Buss said.