Portland, OR. A lively group of new and old faces mingled, bid on silent auctions items, and enjoyed food and drink at a benefit for Wind & Oar Boat School. Peggy Harris and MJ Harris with Christina and Andrea Milano attended the first annual Root Beer Floatilla on September 13th. The event took place at the Daimler Trucks North America Headquarters on Swan Island and was sponsored in part by Daimler. Wind & Oar Boat School is an Oregon nonprofit engaging youth in math, practical and social skills through the art, science, and craft of building wooden boats. Their methods include a low teacher-to-student ratio, hands-on math application and promoting self-confidence in solving problems.

The ‘oar’-raise auction and giving part of the program was an exciting back and forth, particular for the ‘Last Hero’ – a lucky last-bidder winner of the red wagon of high end spirits and a passport to Portland’s Distillery row.

Root beer floats (hand-made using table sponsor Tillamook Creamery ice cream) were served while guests heard from Jessica Howard, President of PCC’s Southeast Campus, outline successful Wind & Oar projects, student stories, and future goals. 

Jessica Howard, President PCC SE Campus, was Emcee for the event.

The light from a sunset glinted off the flotilla of student-made boats just outside the headquarters of sponsor Daimler Trucks North America.

A number of sponsors, including Daimler, the Standard, and NW Natural showed tremendous support, as well as all of the guests there to help raise funds to support and expand Wind & Oar’s programs for under-served schools and students.

The live auction item, McKenzie River Drift Boat (also student-built) shown impressively to the side. Screens lined the walls featuring videos and images of the work of the organization they were all here to support. 

From: Wind & Oar Boat School:

Partnering with public schools and youth serving organizations, we deliver STE(A)M (science, technology, engineering, art, math) programming to underserved youth across the Portland Metro region in elementary school through post-secondary settings.

  • Building a wooden boat is the platform for exploration of an array of academic, practical, and social skills.
  • Students master new skills in an atmosphere that fosters critical thinking, teamwork, and perseverance.
  •  Through the process of crafting a tangible, functional object, young people gain confidence, motivation, and a curious spirit they carry forward at school and in the workplace.