Washington County sure knows how to celebrate!

The weekend’s Fourth of July festivities started early around the

area and really didn’t stop even when July 5 rolled around.

In Hillsboro, the C.A.T. (Cancer Awareness & Treatment) Walk & Fun Run got going at 8 a.m., with area runners and strollers taking part in the annual event that raises funds to battle cancer. The strong turnout for this good cause — more than 1,000 participated — was great to see. All the proceeds from the 5K fun run go to the Tuality Foundation for cancer treatment and research.

Even before the C.A.T. run began, the Kiwanis Club of Hillsboro served up its annual pancake feed, the organization’s main fundraiser to assist several important causes. Proceeds from the breakfast go toward scholarships for local high school seniors as well as support for Kiwanis Doernbecher Children’s Cancer Program and a reading program. Dozens of Kiwanis members volunteered to help out.

Soon after the breakfast event and the race came the big parade in downtown Hillsboro, sponsored by the Hillsboro Rotary Club. The lengthy parade — it lasted close to two hours — paid tribute to the county and its people, and drew a huge crowd from all around the area. Among the many highlights were the local high school marching bands; the military units and individual veterans marching with pride and being greeted with strong applause; the Washington County Dairy Princess from Banks, which served to highlight a key segment of our agricultural economy; the many regional community organizations represented; kids showing off their gymnastic skills; the countless patriotic flags and banners and balloons; the good-humored “Indonesian Community” entry; and even the kids in the crowd enjoying the candy tossed their way.

It was a grand event, but the day’s festivities were far from over. There were car shows and a powdered wig competition in North Plains, car races in Banks, free watermelons and wine tasting in Gaston and fireworks all around. Later in the day, the North Plains Senior Center hosted a steak barbecue as a way to raise funds for Meals on Wheels and similar helpful programs.

As night fell, Forest Grove, residents were treated to a wonderful fireworks show sponsored by the Forest Grove Firefighters Association and the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce. And although the Hillsboro Hops did not have a game in Hillsboro on the Fourth of July this year, the baseball team generously went ahead and gave baseball fans a brief fireworks display adjacent to Ron Tonkin Field after the Hops’ game July 3.

Many of the day’s activities followed a pattern we want to highlight: It was clear numerous people invested much of their holiday time to the cause of making other peoples’ lives a bit better, or providing a fun memory for youngsters around the area. The ongoing efforts of so many people are reflected in the caring community we are privileged to live in. We are very grateful for the work of all these volunteers. Taken as a whole, it was an entire day of family fun and activities that helped bring people closer together.

July 4, 2014, reminded us yet again of how proud we are of the citizens of Hillsboro, Forest Grove and of the Washington County community as a whole ... and how proud we are to celebrate the birth of the great United States of America.

Contract Publishing

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