PAA Block Party Grows in Size and Purpose

Portland Adventist Academy connected with neighbors at its fifth-annual Block Party, where the school and guests donated more than 300 pounds of food to Portland Adventist Community Services.

The free event brought more than 400 neighbors to the PAA campus. Visitors enjoyed live music and information booths from local organizations and businesses, ate grilled corn-on-the-cob and popcorn, slurped snow-cones, and drank lemonade. The local K9 Police Unit stopped in for a visit, as well as firemen who drove and operated one of Portland's largest fire trucks. Children enjoyed face-painting, a bounce house, games, arts and crafts, and learned about the nearby Sunnyside Church's Adventurers Club and the Kids Alive programs.

The event also gave guests the chance to donate food to the nearby PACS Food Pantry. More than 300 pounds of food, including fresh ears of corn, were delivered to PACS the following morning. "Every ear of corn was shared with clients," says Traci White, PACS Social Services director. "Nothing went to waste. And the food that was donated in the barrel was [of] very good quality. At many food drives we get donations of old and outdated food, but not at this event."

The Block Party, in correlation with National Night Out, gives neighbors a platform to meet each other and discuss safety concerns and changes to the neighborhood. It also serves as an opportunity for PAA to share information on its upcoming land development and school rebuild.

Each year the Block Party grows in size and purpose. PAA's efforts to make a safe and secure place for neighbors to live and young people to develop continue through positive community building efforts like the Block Party.

October 01, 2011 / Oregon Conference
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Story and photos by Liesl Vistaunet, PAA GLEANER correspondent