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SnowCap holds 'thank you' public barbecue Aug. 26


Residents invited for hamburgers, hot dogs at event

SnowCap Community Charities will host its annual neighborhood barbecue from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, behind Rockwood United Methodist Church, 17805 S.E. Stark St. The event is open to the public.

This year is a particularly special occasion because SnowCap will thank all those who helped beautify Pine Street Park, which is about 150 feet wide and 150 feet across, adjacent to SnowCap.

Invited dignitaries include Mayor Shane Bemis of Gresham, Pastor Ted Myers of Rockwood United Methodist Church as well as Steve Rudman, executive director of Home Forward, which promotes, operates and develops affordable housing.

Judy Alley, SnowCap’s executive director, credits the city of Gresham, Home Forward and Rockwood United Methodist Church for helping to revamp the park, which had been a neglected space for years.

“Now, it is a well-lighted, watered and landscaped spot for neighbors to sit and relax as well as walk to the local library, bus stop and church,” Alley said. “It is something nice in Rockwood that was accomplished with the cooperation of the city, Home Forward and the church.”

Alley said that beautifying the park also makes it easier for SnowCap to attract volunteers.

“It’s a place where children run and laugh and old people sit on logs to watch the birds and catch their breath,” she says. “The dark, littered and unattractive spot right next to us made volunteer recruitment much harder, particularly on Wednesday evenings. We could still use a couple of more volunteers on the fourth Wednesday of each month, but it has become much easier to get volunteers because they feel safe coming out at night in Rockwood.”

The city, church and Home Forward will receive tokens of recognition at the Aug. 26 event.

Myers said at least a dozen members of his church routinely volunteer at SnowCap, which provides food, clothing and other services to low-income folks in East County. Congregants also raise funds, make soup packets and provide space for SnowCap operations. 

Rudman noted that Home Forward owns Madrona Place Apartments, a 45-unit property across the street from the park and has a keen interest in working with the church and SnowCap to make the neighborhood more livable.

Betty Dominguez, Home Forward’s director of policy and equity, says Home Forward did the initial groundwork for the park. They limbed trees to increase visibility, installed irrigation piping and laid gravel paths.

The city of Gresham contributed huge boulders and logs that provide “much appreciated seating,” Alley says, while  Al’s Gardens helped the Boy Scouts and SnowCap volunteers with the plantings.

“We have noticed a marked reduction in litter already,” Alley says, noting the project was completed in the space of just one spring.

Rudman said that Home Forward enjoys a healthy relationship with SnowCap.

“My hope is that the city and the community celebrates Pine Street Park and also celebrates the works SnowCap does,” he said.

Myers echoed Rudman’s sentiments.

“SnowCap has done things that have really improved the neighborhood.”

For more information on the event as well as SnowCap, call Judy Alley at 503-674-8785 ext. 17.