Portland, OR. The Portland Police Sunshine Division is dubbing its first year at the Waterfront Blues Festival a rousing success. For 30 years the festival was run by the Oregon Food Bank and it raised over $10 million and 20 million pounds of food but this year the nonprofit turned over management to Fuller Events and agreed to share donations. The Portland Police Sunshine Division stepped up to pitch in and benefit. The nonprofit offers food and clothing assistance. Kristi South, Director of Development & Communications for the Sunshine Division says, “The festival has been a great awareness builder for the Sunshine Division with a lot of media exposure. We are the food drive beneficiary this year and raised about 5,000 pounds of food the first two days. Our role also entails soliciting and coordinating about 1,500 volunteer positions.”
Recruiting volunteers is no small undertaking for an organization the size of Sunshine Division (with 13 staff members). However, volunteerism has been strong for the event as there are many returning volunteers and enthusiastic new volunteers filling positions.
Sunshine Division solicited and managed over 1,500 volunteer positions for the festival.
Sunshine Division’s truck ready to accept donations and spread the word about its mission
Regular Sunshine Division volunteers “off the clock” and supporting the WBF.
Performer Norman Sylvester.
The Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest celebration of blues, soul, funk, and rhythm & blues west of the Mississippi. (James Patrick Hurley)
4th of July fireworks helped kick off the Waterfront Blues Festival.
Historically the Waterfront Blues Festival raises an average of 17 million dollars in revenue for the City of Portland.
Sunshine Division leaders say everyone surrounding the event from organizers, artists, volunteers, and attendees has been welcoming and supportive of their involvement with the event adding, it’s refreshing to see the sense of community this event brings to Portland. The Blues Festival ran from July 4th – 7th.
We offer food assistance six days a week at our N Thompson location, four days a week at our SE Stark location, as well as 24/7 through our partnership with the Portland Police Bureau who store food boxes at each police precinct that can be dispatched to people in need at any time. In addition to food relief we also offer new and gently used clothing.
Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes… because no one should be hungry. Oregon Food Bank believes that hunger starves the human spirit, communities thrive when people are nourished, and everyone deserves healthy and fresh food. Oregon Food Bank helps feed the human spirit of more than 700,000 people through a food distribution network of four Oregon Food Bank branches and 17 regional food banks serving Oregon and Clark County, Washington. Oregon Food Bank also leads statewide efforts to increase resources for hungry families and to eliminate the root causes of hunger through public policy, local food systems work, nutrition and garden education, health care screening and innovative programming. Find out how to feed the human spirit at oregonfoodbank.org.
About Waterfront Blues Festival:
Since 1988, the Waterfront Blues Festival has served as downtown Portland’s signature Fourth of July celebration. With four stages and more than 125 musical acts pulling capacity crowds to Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the festival provides a platform to keep blues music alive and add cultural, arts and entertainment value to the City of Portland and region. It is the largest blues festival west of the Mississippi, the second-largest blues festival in the nation, and one of the most revered festivals of its kind in the world. It is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Memphis-based Blues Foundation’s coveted Keeping the Blues Alive Award for ‘Best Festival.’ Since its inception, the festival has been committed to elevating the presence of local non-profits through fundraising and exposure. More information is available at waterfrontbluesfest.com.
31 Years Fighting Hunger
The Waterfront Blues Festival is committed to providing a world-class event to the community of Portland and beyond that presents diverse musical arts, culture, and entertainment. The festival has been committed to using its broad platform to create awareness and support of hunger relief efforts for 30 years.
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