Approximately one hundred people representing all generations braved the heat to attend the 19th ANNUAL POTLUCK PICNIC on Sunday, August 21, at Wayne Morse Family Farm at 595 Crest Drive.  They were rewarded by a cool(ish) breeze that helped keep temperatures tolerable.  The potluck dinner was a success, with lots of great summer munchies.  Some people brought their own picnic lunches instead and enjoyed the company and …

The entertainment by Eugene Taiko and GRRRLZ Rock members was enjoyed by everyone. What a treat those entertainers are.  The little ones clearly enjoyed dancing and hopping to the music and some (including some big “kids”) tried their hands at playing a taiko drum.  Big hands for everyone.

Attendees visited booths that included the City of Eugene Police Department Crime Prevention Specialists Paul Bishop (the specialist assigned to the SHiNA area) and Margaret Mazzotta who provided information about crime prevention and free bicycle registration.  Scott Altenhoff of the City of Eugene Urban Forestry Office answered questions about your trees and the Eugene urban forest and provided Eugene Outdoors information as well.  Sherman of Friends of the Farmers Market was back with a booth that included free yummy samples of Farmers Market foods.  Sandy Scheetz of the Oregon State University (OSU) Extension Service Master Preservers was available to answer questions about preservation of harvests, home or otherwise.  She also provided samples of preserved foods.  Sarah Grimm of the Pollution Prevention Coalition of Lane County staffed a Master Recycler information table.  There was voter registration by Kathy Bosteder.  And there was a free table that in addition to information about gardening, wildlife, wildfire protection, and other interests was gifted with loads of lemon cucumbers shared by Dennis and Bonnie Chappa and a great big heap of crisp fresh apples harvested by Ann Miller.

Devon Martin of the Science Factory engaged people in launching rockets – although the rocket launcher initially refused to cooperate, the South Eugene Robotics Team made short work of the problem and off it went. Aaahhh, serendipity. And speaking of the South Eugene Robotics Team, although the team was having a fundraiser on Sunday, it showed with Robby the Robot, a 150-lbs. robot that outwitted a Chair (who tried to demolish a chair or two in the process) and many others as it careened through the parking, grabbing and launching a large yoga ball.  A special thank you to the mentors who made the extra efforts to make this happen on a busy day.

HoneyGirl of Circus Arts provided juggling, yo-yos, hula hoops, beautiful face paintings, and more to entertain the children. The children really responded to the wonderful, talented, endlessly patient person we were so lucky to have.

The giant teddy bear raffle was won by EPD Officer Margaret Mazzotta, who plans to keep it in the police van to comfort children. The two admission tickets to The Oregon Garden were won by Vice Chair Ralph McDonald.  Door prizes included coloring books, a wine tasting party kit, a children’s set of garden tools, hot pepper plants, a large jar of Jelly Belly jelly beans, and a parrot kite with a 6′ wingspan – all reasons for “yessss”es and happy faces.

It was all a simple neighborhood picnic plus a little should be: fun! Not only that, the clean-up was a spectacular example of cooperation.

A great big thank you to everyone who participated in making this a successful Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association potluck picnic. See you next year!