Area residents will play a big part in the Big Bash set for Oct. 5 in Aurora.

West Linn resident Evan Connell has sponsored the event that gives a big party for those who donate to charitable organizations.

Janet Sams, another West Linn resident, is executive director for Candlelighters for Children with Cancer, one of the organizations that will benefit from the Big Bash.

But before that occurs there will be another event on Sept. 29, as Happy Trails Riding Center of West Linn holds a party for the children and families assisted by the Candlelighters. They will be welcomed by riding center owners Bjorn and Nicole Budden.

“We’re very excited about it,” said Sams. “Evan Connell is being very generous.”

A swell time will be had by all as kids and their parents will spend a day of fun. Instead of undergoing the drudgery of cancer treatment, they will be doing things like horseback riding, eating barbecue and listening to a concert. High school sophomore Carolyn Connell, Evan’s daughter, has organized a group of her friends to serve as hosts of the event.

Sams will be even happier after the Big Bash, which has raised $1.4 million for charity over the previous nine years.

“We’ve been around since 1977, but a lot of people don’t know we exist,” Sams said. “Each year there are 200 children in Oregon who are diagnosed with cancer. That is too big a number.”

Connell used celebrating his 40th birthday 10 years ago as the reason for the first party sponsored by his organization, the Party for a Purpose Foundation. Now he is using his 50th birthday as the reason for the blast on Oct. 5.

“Party with a Purpose was done to create giving opportunities for charity,” Connell said. “We had The Stomp last year. Now we’ve brought back the Bash. We’ll have the same group of volunteers as we’ve had in the past.”

A party under any name is still fun. But Connell has created this year’s Big Bash as a 501c3.

Discounted individual tickets and 10-pack tickets for the Big Bash are available online at through Sept. 27. Those who purchase tickets will be treated to western entertainment, a barbecue dinner and oral auction, a rodeo, live music, dancing, and a casino. It is advised that those attending wear their western gear.

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