Autism Society of Oregon Holds In-Person Fundraising Walk

Autism Society of Oregon Holds In-Person Fundraising Walk

Portland, OR. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Autism Society of Oregon (ASO) to shift towards a virtual walk fundraiser rather than their standard in-person event. This year the organization is back in full swing for its annual Autism Walk fundraiser at Oaks Park in SE Portland on August 15th. The event will include a wide variety of fun activities for individuals with autism and their supporters.

ASO says the event will be “a family-friendly, autism-friendly community event celebrating the people we love on the autism spectrum.” Some of these activities include the half-mile walk that gives the event its namesake, a photo booth, a water display courtesy of Portland Fire and Rescue, and sewing/needlecrafts with PDX Stitch. Additionally, the nonprofit has partnered with several local groups and organizations such as Cosplay Characters for Kindness and Portland Ghostbusters who dress up as fictional characters and attend charity events for photos and to make attendees smile. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 concerns, the event will not include face painting as it normally would in a non-pandemic year. Those interested in attending the Autism Walk can register for the event to help raise funds for it here.

A group of people dresses as Star Wars characters hold the ASO banner at a previous event.

All funds raised for the Autism Walk will go towards ASO’s various programs and resources designed to support people on the autism spectrum. ASO aims to maximize the quality of life of Oregonians on the autism spectrum, guiding them towards self-determination and working to end societal stigmas against autism. Money raised at this event will be used to create further educational materials on what autism is, and resources for those on the spectrum and their families such as a sensory booklet and cookbook which can be downloaded off the organization’s website. In addition to informational resources, funding for ASO will also go towards the organization’s initiatives to directly support those affected by autism and their families, including the “take a break” and “take a breather” programs which put vouchers or tickets for activities or monetary funds into the hands of autistic Oregonians and their caregivers.

In addition to these programs, ASO also hosts workshops, classes, and webinars to educate Oregon about autism and how to approach it. Further, the organization has supplied its supporters with a directory of support groups for those with autism as well as a comprehensive list of scholarships and financial aid for autistic individuals to apply to. All of these helpful and informative resources can be supported by registering for the Autism Walk fundraiser this Sunday, the 15th from 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM. Registering for the event will also make those interested in attending eligible for a discount coupon on ride bracelets at Oaks Park, to be used at noon once the rides open. Ride bracelets for the event at Oaks Amusement Park can be purchased here.

A large crowd in attendance at a previous Autism Walk event hosted by ASO. The organization expects lower attendance in 2021 than in previous years due to COVID-19 concerns.

For other ways to support ASO’s mission, the organization has have a donation page on its website. If readers would like to attend other upcoming events hosted or sponsored by the organization, all upcoming events can be found within the Autism Society of Oregon’s event calendar.

 

 

 

Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Portland, OR. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) is holding its ninth-annual “Catio” Tour in September. “Catio” is a portmanteau of “cat” and “patio,” which describes outdoor enclosures for pet cats to climb and play in safely, without risk of the animal escaping. To adjust to pandemic restrictions, FCCO has converted the tour to include both in-person observation and virtual self-guided tours of this year’s selections around the Portland metro area.

Catios come in all shapes and sizes, often containing ramps to climb, perches to rest on, and toys to play with. Following a year when many spent extensive time at home working on DIY projects, the trend of creating safe outdoor spaces for cat recreation has increased in popularity.

After many submissions, the nonprofit has selected all Portland-based catios to showcase. Registration for the event is now open here, for all interested in watching cats explore innovative constructions designed for their leisure. The 2021 Catio Tour event will take place on September 11th, 2021. The in-person self-guided tour is $10 and virtual tour access is $15.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has already announced that the event will be happening in 2022, and invites all catio creators to prepare for application. The FCCO has posted additional information online detailing what catios are and can be, as well as a list of resources for Portland residents interested in having their own catio. The list includes Portland-area construction businesses that design and build catios, as well as information and instructions for those who wish to build their catios independently, from scratch.

The 2021 Catio Tour event comes as part of a partnership with Portland Audobon society, as part of their Cats Safe At Home campaign, which aims to “reduce the number of cats living outdoors in the Portland metropolitan area in a humane and environmentally responsible manner.” Catios can assist with this initiative by providing outdoor time to pet cats, while ensuring safety from outdoor hazards, protecting wildlife from cat predation, and preventing cats from running away from their owners.

From The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon:

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is a Portland-based nonprofit that offers spay and neuter services to Oregon and SW Washington. Their services are free for feral, stray, and barn cats, but unfortunately due to the pandemic, The FCCO is unable to offer cheap services to pet cats as they usually would. In addition to spay/neuter services, the organization also coordinates a “kitten caboose” program which has successfully relocated over 1,300 feral kittens into adopted homes. You can support the Feral Cat Coalition in its mission of housing cats, and keeping them safely off the streets on its website.

 

The Green Light for In-Person Concerts is Music to the Ears of Local Nonprofit

The Green Light for In-Person Concerts is Music to the Ears of Local Nonprofit

Portland, OR. As Oregon reopens, one activity Oregonians are eagerly anticipating is the return of concerts and live music. The Portland nonprofit, Friends of Noise is a local organization making a  return of live music possible, and accessible for anybody who wants to get involved. It provides sound equipment to performers, hosting free age-inclusive shows, and helping creative youth navigate the local music scene. Now starting its summer 2021 season, the nonprofit has a fresh slate of performances and events to bring the joy of communal music experiences back to Portland youth, including a dance battle, hip hop cypher performance, and multiple outdoor concert events for youth artists.

Friends of Noise provides programs, workshops, and other professional development opportunities for teens and young adults to gain experience with sound equipment, and performing so they are more prepared to navigate the music industry.


An integral core foundation to Friends of Noise is the belief that getting young performers and audience members involved in music is essential to the growth of the local and global music community. 

The nonprofit offers a variety of services to support Portland’s musically-oriented youth, including professional development workshops providing skills for involvement in the music industry, paid opportunities for youth musicians to perform, and offering sound equipment services for independent, youth-organized concerts, teaching those interested how to operate such equipment and offering youth paid opportunities for work with sound technology. According to Friends of Noise executive director André Middleton, the nonprofit’s mission is to “facilitate healing and growth in the community” for Portland youth artists, with a focus on BIPOC individuals.

Middleton admits that the COVID-19 pandemic was difficult for Friends Of Noise, with the nonprofit completely halting operations like most other businesses at its start. However, the organization still found ways to utilize its services mid-pandemic to further its commitment to justice by providing sound equipment to local Black Lives Matter protests and marches to “lift up the voices of the unheard.” Friends of Noise even helped host a BLM protest event on labor day 2020 in Portland’s Cathedral Park, providing and setting up sound equipment for speakers.

Middleton says that his organization’s greatest challenge of the pandemic has been the recruitment of new youth performers and sound technicians to work with, stating that reconnecting with the musical youth of Portland is the current “highest priority” for Friends of Noise. Thankfully, they were still able to support independent young musicians of Portland through the pandemic by recording isolated performances in various Portland music venues from a wide range of talented youth, editing them, and uploading these performances to the Friends of Noise Youtube channel as part of their “Friends of Noise TV” series.

Here’s a video from ‘Friends of Noise TV’:

A woman of color performs music on a stage outlined in orange lights and backdropped by blue curtains in a small music venue with red curtains hanging from the walls. She stands next to a banner with the "Friends of Noise" logo on it, and in front of her there is a camera mounted on a tripod filming her performance. in the foreground of the image, we see the back of a male sound technician wearing headphones to the left, and a computer screen showing the different camera angles recording her performance to his right.

Behind the scenes photo depicting the filming of a live performance by Arietta Ward/”Mz. Etta” at Jack London Revue for the Friends of Noise TV YouTube concert series.

Middleton says what he was most excited for about the return of live music, but for Friends of Noise, concerts have been back for a while as they have done sound equipment for and hosted a series of concerts for youth artists in parks around Portland, following COVID safety procedures such that youth could still gather, connecting to both music and one another, safely. He is most eagerly anticipating the Friends of Noise Summer Jam being held for free at Oregon Contemporary on July 11th from 6-10pm, where the organization will be hosting a variety of talented young performers. Middleton also noted that he is currently working with a youth graphic designer in a paid opportunity to create a poster for the event, highlighting his organization’s commitment to uplifting creative youth and getting them involved in as many ways as possible.

Middleton hopes support for Friends of Noise will take off this summer in comparison to last year, as the organization has its eyes set on a large, yet important project— the creation of a free, youth-led, all-ages, all-inclusive space for performances, music, workshops. and creativity as part of public housing in Northeast Portland. He expressed disappointment in the fact that Portland currently has no all-ages, youth-inclusive concert spaces, and hopes to change that by saving the organization’s funds and donations to establish the community center.

More information about Friends of Noise can be found at the nonprofit’s website, friendsofnoise.org. Here, supporters of FON’s mission can find times and locations for all of the organization’s upcoming events mentioned in this article and many more. Further, readers can donate funds through the website via posted PayPal, Venmo, and Cashapp to help make André Middleton’s dream of an youth led and focused, all-inclusive community concert center a reality— one which places the importance of creative expression above alcohol sales.

‘Hope Reigns’ as Rose Festival Gears Up for Second Scaled-Down Year

‘Hope Reigns’ as Rose Festival Gears Up for Second Scaled-Down Year

Portland, OR. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Hope Reigns’ and organizers are encouraging local businesses to decorate their buildings and storefronts. It’s the second year with modified activities. In 2020 some aspects of the festival were similar to the past, like the crowning of Queen Anya Anand seen above, but organizers explain, “Oregon isn’t quite ready yet for big outdoor events, and the health and safety of our community is still our top priority. The Rose Festival has been here for more than a century despite many challenges and will be here when Oregon is ready for big outdoor events again as we start down the runway to the traditional Rose Festival in 2022.”

Click here for a  link to a festival website event list. Programming like the Court and Porch Parade will continue this May & June 2021. This year, with Portland businesses hit especially hard from the pandemic and social unrest, the Festival is reaching back to the time when all of Portland turned out with Rose Festival-themed floral decorations. Businesses are once again being encouraged to decorate a front door, window or even building face. The Portland Rose Festival will produce an online map with the locations, so the public can walk, bike, or drive around, and share in the celebration.

The Rose Festival Porch Parade celebration runs from May 31 through June 13, 2021. (Registration is now open at this website on the Porch Parade page.) The Rose Festival Porch Parade celebration runs from May 31 through June 13, 2021. (Registration is now open at this website on the Porch Parade page.)

Click here for a link to the porch parade info and registration.

The Rose Festival’s Parading in Place concept wasn’t only popular in Portland, festivals across the country picked up the idea in: San Antonio, Detroit, New Orleans, Mobile, Alabama, and Washington D.C. to name just a few.

Themes for the 2021 Rose Festival Porch Parade honoring the Rose Festival’s three traditional parades include The Grand Floral, the Starlight, and the Junior parades. Porch designers are encouraged to pull out their seasonal Christmas lights and create a multi-themed concept with a Grand Floral Parade or Junior Parade in daylight hours, and a Starlight Parade theme by night. Porch Parade designers are not limited to Rose Festival themes and are encouraged to create their own family-friendly fun ideas to share with the greater Festival community.

In 2020, the Porch Parade encouraged people to decorate outside their homes.

Last year, dignitaries formed a procession to tour selected homes.

From The Rose Festival:

The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves families and individuals with programs and events that promote the arts, education and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, diversity, patriotism and our historic & floral heritage.

For more information www.RoseFestival.org

Facebook PortlandRoseFestival/

Twitter: @PDXRoseFestival

Instagram: @PDXRoseFestival

 

‘Our House’ Plans Virtual Gala to Celebrate and Raise Needed Funds

‘Our House’ Plans Virtual Gala to Celebrate and Raise Needed Funds

Portland, OR. Poison Waters (on left, posing with Tracy Curtis) will take her enthusiasm online this year for the ‘Our House’ Virtual Gala. Organizers encourage supporters to step back in time and tune in for an MTV-esque online event set in the ‘80s. The free benefit on Feb. 20th offers an opportunity to support the organization which provides healthcare, housing, and other vital services to people in the Portland community living with HIV. The nonprofit started in 1988.

Dana Kinney, Director of Development and Communications, explains the decision behind the 80s’ themed virtual gala, “Since, Our House came to life in the eighties, we decided this would be a really fun year to do a flashback to the eighties and talk about how we’ve come, how we progressed, how our community has stood by us and how that was reflected in the height of the AIDS epidemic, but also at the height of the COVID pandemic.”

Kinney recognizes that the AIDS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic are very different in who is affected and how both communities are impacted differently, but the need for help and support has not changed.

“We’ve been fortunate enough that our community of supporters and donors have really stepped up tremendously to give us so much more than we could imagine during a pandemic to ensure that the most vulnerable keep getting supported,” Kinney explains.

Johnna Wells and Carrie Welch speak to guests at the Hopelessly Devoted to Our House Gala from 2019. This year’s virtual gala speaker will be Dale Johannes.

There will also be a virtual auction that opens on Feb. 12 at 8 am and closes on Feb. 20 at 9 pm. Once the auction opens, each package will be available to view and attendees can bid as often and as much as they like. Some auction packages include the following: beach vacations, mountain vacations, a hot tub boat in Seattle, nature tours, and art/wine tours.

There is also a chance to win two roundtrip Alaska Airlines ticket vouchers for $80. There are only 200 raffle tickets available and the winner will be announced during the live stream on Feb. 20.

Prizes are not the only thing to look forward to either. With previous in-person events, the organization has offered catering services which have also seen a significant impact from the pandemic. In order to ensure that attendees still have the full virtual experience, there will still be a catering service from Vibrant Table who has partnered with Our House before. Make sure to RSVP for the event and order food ahead to have it ready by clicking the link here.

Participants bid on auction items at the 2019 Hopelessly Devoted to Our House Gala. Auction items are still available with the event being virtual this year.

The live stream event is going to be really fun Kinney explains, “I would love for anyone who is either familiar or just learning about Our House or has no idea who we are, to tune in and just learn about us and see what we’re doing for the community and whether it’s as their one time that they’re watching and learning about us, or if they want to learn more, they can get ahold of us or even volunteer.”

From Our House website: Our House inspires people with HIV to LIVE WELL. Our House provides integrated health and housing services to people with HIV/AIDS.  Guided by compassion, collaboration, and respect, we provide 24-hour specialized care, supportive services, and independent housing with support services.

Our House Core Values:

Compassion for those most in need was the reason we founded Our House and it continues to be our guiding value.

Collaboration at Our House builds relationships by sharing resources and expertise in the community to serve our clients.

Our House Respects the dignity, spirit, worth, needs, and rights of everyone we touch.

Our House maintains a Resourceful staff, stable finances, and effective programs through innovative and responsive action.

Our House Empowers clients to optimize the quality of life in a safe and accepting environment.

 

Oregon Parks Forever Raises Funds to Replant One Million Trees Lost to Wildfires

Oregon Parks Forever Raises Funds to Replant One Million Trees Lost to Wildfires

Portland, OR. The 2020 Oregon wildfire season was one of the most destructive on record in the state of Oregon; more than one million acres of forestry burned taking homes as well. In response to the fires, Oregon Parks Forever set a goal of raising funds to plant one million trees. Currently, funding and planning are in the early stages with a goal of beginning to replant trees this Fall at the earliest.

Seth Miller, Executive Director of Oregon Parks Forever, touches on the benefits of replanting trees, “Why should we replant after a fire? Trees provide the very necessities of life. They clear our air, protect our drinking water, create healthy communities and feed our souls. Our forests provide critical wildlife habitat, natural beauty, and recreational opportunities. They sequester carbon and help reduce soil erosion by stabilizing slopes and preventing landslides.”

According to Miller, Oregon fires this past summer was more than twice the amount of damage the state has experienced in recent years.

Depending on how much money is raised and after determining the greatest need and potential impact, Oregon Parks Forever will work with the following agencies and county departments:

  • Public land managers from the US Forest Service
  • Oregon Department of Forestry
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Oregon Parks & Recreation
  • County park departments in Clackamas, Marion, Lane, and Jackson counties

More than 1 million acres of forest in Oregon burned this past summer.

By planting these trees, Oregon Parks Forever aims to have the highest impact of visual benefits as well as recreational. According to Miller, U.S. Route 22 between Salem to Bend has one of the highest burn areas and will be a high priority area.

This comes at a time where budgets of public land managers are already stressed due to ongoing funding challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic according to Miller. There are a number of promotional events going on currently, including a promotion for Oregon Parks Forever with KGW TV for the next couple of months.

Promotions with other TV stations will also occur later this Spring along with a co-branding deal with a winery, brewery, and cidery in the summertime. To help raise the funds needed in order to complete the goal of one million trees the organization is in need of donations.

From the Oregon Parks Forever website:

There are currently three ways to help donate:

  • Use this link to the Oregon Parks Forever website to make a donation
  • Send a TEXT to 41444 with the message REPLANT
  • Use your Smartphone camera at this QR code below

Currently, there are no volunteer opportunities available at this early stage but keep an eye out for Oregon Parks Forever monthly newsletter with the most current updates on the project. Use this link to access the Wildfire Impact Panel video recording that Oregon Parks Forever held on Nov. 17, 2020, about the fires. The passcode for the recording is: trees4parks!

Our mission is to raise funds to enhance and preserve special places and experiences in Oregon’s parks, now and for generations to come, and to encourage and promote an outdoor lifestyle.

“Hope Reigns” is Theme for 2021 Portland Rose Festival

“Hope Reigns” is Theme for 2021 Portland Rose Festival

Portland, OR. Portland Rose Festival Foundation has elected Dave Todd (pictured with his grandson, Henry) as the new president for a two-year term. Todd is a retired Navy Captain (Reserve) and recently retired from a 33-year career as a university-level teacher. Todd plans on leading a group of board members into the new year of 2021 with the theme “Hope Reigns” for the Portland Rose Festival.

Todd shared his thoughts on the transition into the new year, “All of us feel a sense of loss as we look back on the year that spun out of control and changed our Festival so dramatically. Even so, those of us who work and volunteer for the Festival remain grateful that we are privileged to be a part of the world’s best Festival. The pay-forward for that privilege is we must do everything we can to make sure that the Festival does what it needs to do whenever people are able to return to it. We want the Festival always to be an escape, a celebration, and not a reminder of what was lost.”

“Hope Reigns” 2021 Portland Rose Festival Theme

Todd also served as a Rose Festival Director for 31 years where he worked on a wide variety of committees, held all but one of the Foundation’s elective offices, and chaired multiple committees including seven terms as Chair of the Fleet Committee.

The new year’s elected officers serving with Todd include:

  • President-Elect John O’Hanlon – Bank of America
  • Vice-President Contesa Diaz-Nicolaidis – Alaska Airlines
  • Secretary Dr. Thompson Faller – University of Portland (Retired)
  • Treasurer Bill Poppino – Corporate Airline Pilot
  • Assistant Treasurer Dayna Kirk – The Standard

The Festival board has also elected three new directors for 2021 including Steve Welch, a Senior Mortgage Banker with Guild Mortgage Company and member of the Rose Festival Clowns. Tragically on Jan. 3, 2021, Welch passed away due to a non- COVID illness.

Welch was well respected by the Rose Festival staff and volunteers not only for his wonderful antics as a member of the Festival’s clown family but as an incredibly warm and compassionate person.

The elected 2021 Directors include:

  • Tamara (Tam) Allison – Associate Financial Analyst at Portland General Electric
  • Steven Welch – Senior Mortgage Banker with Guild Mortgage Company (deceased)
  • Mary Abbott Young – Realtor with Coldwell Banker

Looking forward, Todd speaks on health and continuing the tradition of the Portland Rose Festival, “The health of our community and our friends around the world remains the most important thing. The Portland Rose Festival is here to stay. We continue to plan for a Rose Festival celebration when conditions allow.”

From Portland Rose Festival website: The Portland Rose Festival Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that serves families and individuals with programs and events that promote the arts, education, and volunteerism. We value environmental responsibility, diversity, patriotism, and our historic & floral heritage.

Shop Local with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace

Shop Local with the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace

Portland, OR. You could find your next Christmas gift at the Arts Council of Lake Oswego Holiday Marketplace. It showcases work from over 30 local artists including fine art, wood, ceramics, jewelry, handmade gifts, ornaments, textiles, confections, accessories, and more. The Holiday Marketplace is open for in-person, online, and curbside pickup shopping from Nov 28 to Dec 30.

During the two-week freeze that started on Nov 18th by order of Oregon Gov Kate Brown, the Holiday Marketplace is able to still offer in-person shopping with a lowered capacity that is limited to ten people including employees.

“I think what’s great about it is that we still are able to offer some sort of in-person shopping experience and from artists who are local,” Executive Director, Nicole Nathan, said. “So, while it may look a little bit different, we’re still able to offer the same core [values] at the heart of what we do and support our artists while also supporting the artistic community in Lake Oswego.”

The 2019 Holiday Marketplace.

In its fourth year, the Holiday Marketplace is one of the only in-person local gatherings of artists for the Portland and Lake Oswego area. Purchases directly benefit the artists and community-enriching programming of the Arts Council and this year the Holiday Marketplace can be found at the ARTspace Gallery.

For those who would like to stay local and stay safe while shopping, an online option will be available for the first time due to COVID-19 coinciding with the opening day of the Holiday Marketplace on Nov 28. The online shopping platform won’t feature everything from the gallery, instead, a few pieces of work from this years’ artists will be available to browse.

Nathan believes that this will be a good option for those who either live far away or might be sheltering place, because of travel restrictions, since they might not be able to come by in person. The online Holiday Marketplace will be able to reach those from further afield and still be able to enjoy some work, by local artists, or artists who they love and have seen before.

Some of the artwork offered at the Holiday Marketplace last year.

With restrictions in place, the Holiday Marketplace will look different this year with fewer wearables such as clothing and textiles. Vendors will also be further spread out to adhere to the six-foot guidelines. With the few pieces of clothing that are offered those will be disinfected between each visitor among other extra precautions.

ARTspace Gallery is taking all the safety precautions for a safe visit including:

  • Face masks are required to visit
  • Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the gallery
  • Safe distance decals and public capacity are enforced
  • Sanitizing and cleaning after visitors
  • Contact-tracing – provide information where the public can check-in
  • Requesting people to stay home if not feeling well

According to Nathan, “We have an incredible number of artists who’ve been with us in past years and some new work as well. There’s some beautiful work, that you can get for yourself or your loved ones; It’s really in great support of not only our artists but helps support the arts council throughout the year.”

From the Arts Council of Lake Oswego website: The Arts Council of Lake Oswego works to ensure that arts are an integral part of life in our community, now and into the future.

Literary Arts Puts Portland Book Festival Online

Literary Arts Puts Portland Book Festival Online

Portland, OR. For the past 35 years, Literary Arts has built a community around literature, books, and storytelling. A yearly highlight was the Portland Book Festival, pictured above. This year due to COVID-19 the nonprofit is moving its annual Portland Book Festival online where people can attend for free.

Up until this year, Portland Book Festival was a one-day event that drew about 9,000 attendees. Now participants will have access to the event over the course of two weeks from Nov. 5 to Nov. 21. There will be more than 100 authors, writing classes, and book events of all genres for kids, teens, and adults to explore.

The festival will also feature an exhibitor fair and writing classes for adults/youth that will be accessible online. Pop-up readings have also been filmed at the Portland Art Museum and are being offered digitally as well.

Holman Wang, a writer of children’s books, sits with a fan from the 2019 Portland Book Festival.

Festival Director, Amanda Bullock speaks on the Portland Book Festival going virtual, “The festival strives to offer something for every kind of reader and offers a diverse lineup of authors from exciting new voices to literary superstars. I really hope that the virtual festival throws the doors open even wider and that more folks get a chance to be a part of the festival.”

According to Andrew Proctor, Executive Director of Literary Arts, before going virtual there would be roughly 200-300 volunteers to help with the festival; however, the new digital format this year is not conducive to volunteer opportunities.

Although the Portland Book Festival is different this year, according to Bullock, she hopes the event will be a chance to discover parts of the festival they otherwise might not have before.

Attendees walk around the 2019 Portland Book Festival looking at the different vendors.

Volunteer opportunities may not be available for the 2020 Portland Book Festival, but there are other volunteer positions available on the Literary Arts website. One virtual opportunity is to become a college essay mentor to junior and senior high school students where a majority are first-generation applicants to college. Check out more about the volunteer opportunities here.

From Literary Arts website: Our mission is to engage readerssupport writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

Howloween at the Oregon Zoo Offers Perfectly Spooky Stroll

Howloween at the Oregon Zoo Offers Perfectly Spooky Stroll

Portland, OR. For many families, the current pandemic has made trick-or-treating impossible, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get in the Halloween spirit like the ring-tailed lemur pictured above. During the Oregon Zoo‘s annual Howloween festivities, kids can show off their costumes and learn about wildlife in a fun and safe setting. The event takes place on Oct. 24th­–25th and Oct. 29­th–Nov. 1st. Reserved tickets are required.

“Like everything else, Halloween will look a little different this time around, but we’re still going to have a good time,” zoo events manager Nikki Simmons said. “We’ve got fun things planned for both kids and animals.”

A red panda plays with a pumpkin on Howloween.

A scavenger hunt around the zoo teaches kids about wildlife and throughout the day, guests can watch as animals enjoy holiday-themed treats like jack-o’-lanterns stuffed with snacks. Activities are free with zoo admission and treat bags are available for an additional fee of $3 per participant. In keeping with the zoo’s mission, Howloween aims to be educational as well as fun, and all the treats come from companies that are committed to using deforestation-free palm oil. Learn more about palm oil and how consumer choices impact animals around the world.

A river otter and a pumpkin.

To help ensure a safe experience for all, the following measures will be in place during this year’s Howloween:

  • All costumes must include masks that cover the nose and mouth.
  • Howloween participants must purchase pre-filled treat bags that can be collected at the end of their scavenger hunt instead of collecting candy throughout the zoo. Treat bags are $3 each and are available for purchase online.
  • All tickets must be purchased in advance, in timed-entry segments. Because of the capacity restrictions, even infants need to be counted. Infants are free with a paid adult admission but must have a ticket.
  • See other safety measures here.

Items like treat-filled pumpkins are part of the Oregon Zoo’s world-renowned environmental enrichment program, which helps animals stay active and mentally engaged. It was at the Oregon Zoo in the 1980s that the concept of environmental enrichment was established. The first international animal enrichment conference was held at the Oregon Zoo in 1993, producing the book Second Nature, co-edited by former Oregon Zoo deputy conservation manager Dr. David Shepherdson and Dr. Jill Mellen, a member of the zoo’s animal welfare committee.

The Oregon Zoo says “Bring your costumed kids to Howloween for treats and safe fun!”

From the Oregon Zoo website: The mission of the Oregon Zoo Foundation is to foster community pride and involvement in the Oregon Zoo and to secure financial support for the zoo’s conservation, education and animal welfare programs. We work with individual donors, corporations and community organizations that share our dedication to creating a better future for wildlife.