By Molly • Molly Walker • 

Participation down at Community Connect

The event was held at Sue Buel Elementary School in McMinnville on Friday, June 21. But after attracting more than 600 last year, it drew only about 340 this year.

Elise Hui, executive director for the Housing Authority of Yamhill County, said it’s hard to pinpoint the reasons. Factors, she said, could include holding the event later in June, picking a Friday rather than a Wednesday and scheduling it against several other activities, like Relay for Life, Phil Sheridan Days and Carlton Fun Days.

Attendance started off briskly in the morning, but declined as the day wore on. Hui said an effort would be made to identify some of the reasons.

The dental vans attracted 100 clients, about the same as last year. The dental care was once again coordinated by the Yamhill County Dental Society.

Three Medical Teams International vans provided dental care at the site. In addition, care was offered at Mountain View Oral Surgery and the Evans Street Dental Center. The 13 participating dentists were joined by more than 20 hygienists and support personnel.

Transportation was provided by the Yamhill County Transit Authority, which offered free bus service throughout the county, and the Yamhill Community Action Partnership, which had a bus circling between the school and the courthouse every 30 minutes.

A total of 39 agencies provided information on local services. The roster included the McMinnville Fire Department, which brought a fire truck and mascot that proved a big hit with children.

The Pedal Power Partnership, launched jointly last spring by Waste Management Inc. and the Yamhill Community Action Partnership with the assistance of bike man Dean Williams, reached a milestone with the delivery of its 1,000th bicycle to an 8-year-old Sheridan girl.

The program, which salvages and refurbishes bikes that would otherwise be relegated to the landfill, gave away 58 bikes and trikes at the event. It also gdistributed 60 bike helmets and repaired more than 20 bikes.

Hairdressers Crystal Leonor and Lori Sarnhal of Stilettos Salon in McMinnville provided about 45 free haircuts to children and adults. The Lions Club offered free vision and hearing screenings and the Willamette Valley Cancer Center conducted free skin cancer screenings, the latter new this year.

Also new was a clothing giveaway organized by the Salt Creek Baptist Church in Dallas. Hui said the clothing giveaway took up about half the school gym and an American Red Cross Blood Drive the other half.

Local vendors, including Subway, Jake’s Deli, Oly’s Wrap Shack, Pogy’s in Newberg and Chaplain’s Pantry, donated sandwiches. Home-made sandwiches were also donated by the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue mission.

Betty Lou’s donated a majority of the snacks. Coastal Mountain Springs supplied water and Waste Management provided disposal services.

Ten gift cards, donated by Ed and Sheryl Ryker of Grocery Outlet, were used as raffle prizes. Love INC of Newberg provided about 200 snack packs and Providence Newberg Medical Center donated almost 600 hygiene kits, assembled by Linfield students. The Amity Service Integration Team gave away enough pet food to enable 113 households to feed 125 cats and 158 dogs.

Hui said that the McMinnville School District, which donated the use of the school and conference center, was a key part of the event. She said chief custodian Ron Harper deserved special recognition for all the help he provided.

Anyone willing to help next time is asked to call Hui at 503-883-4318.



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