Category: Events (page 1 of 2)

George Fox University “Serve Day” 2016 Downtown Newberg



It’s the sweat of the brow that my camera does not show you. The heavy breath of young and old lungs alike. The twitching muscles, as pound after pound of softened beauty bark is heaved across the city streets of Downtown Newberg.

Wide shovels loaded down with the shaky-tree skin of tall earth lungs, lain down for another purpose, are heftily lifted by these “bull of the woods” George Fox University volunteers and locally involved citizens. The dry beds scattered about town will soon all be plumped by the cush of the arbor matter.


Bark dust flies from the scaling end of these scattered-about-town piles.


The “Patriarchs of the Bark“, many long-time Newberg residents, such as Allyn Brown, Dennis Lewis, Mike Ragsdale, NDC President Rob Felton, and many others whom I have not enough space to list, are the backbone of this undertaking. These gentlemen are true leaders in the organizational details of the ongoing beautification of Newberg. Let us mentor beneath their guidance to develop the next generation of strong local leaders.


Rob Felton, President, Newberg Downtown Coalition




Mike Ragsdale, Executive Director, Newberg Downtown Coalition

For 17 years strong, George Fox University has been recreating “Serve Day” annually to keep our Historic Downtown a clean and aesthetically pleasing canvas. Young students readily volunteer their tree-like limbs of stable backs and athletic legs to this forest of effort, happily running forward when called upon by the simple need of numbers.


George Fox students annually volunteer more than a quarter of a million hours to service.



The community center hive is buzzing like a chainsaw with eager workers, giving freely of their precious time, between studies, between the experience of new friends and places, between working hours, to nourish Newberg as a growing seedling on the woodland floor of Oregon Wine Country.



Community Center RoundUp VIDEO



Even in witness to the hustle of the beautifying moment, we still fail to grasp the effort applied beforehand with the preparation of maps, bark logistics, and the analytical aspect of precisely where we need a touchup.




Wheelbarrows, rakes, and trash pickers are organized and supplied. The weed whackers are gassed up and ready to clear-cut any overgrown fields around the neighborhood.





These young swampers of bark, scatter through the city streets working in a furious manner to beat the heat of the day.



They know there is an ice-cold Popsicle waiting courtesy of Social Goods: A Newberg Family Market at the end of the “long logging road” through town.


GoodPop, A Truly Charitable Popsicle


Sender sneaks a cold treat with Robin Sikkens of Social Goods: A Newberg Family Market and Wine Lockers.

Thank you George Fox University, and the Newberg Downtown Coalition. Thank you fine young students, men and woman both, in your laborious efforts. Thank you local citizens young and old for serving on this day.



Turning back, we just see excellence in landscaping. In the midst, is a freezer full of cool pops. Gazing into the future, we view well rounded leaders with a bit of dirt under the nail, a taste for the chilled fruits of labor, and a deep understanding of the teamwork and time sacrifice it takes to truly make a community thrive.



img_3538George Fox Serve Day

September 2016

GoodPops Story

Water Bear and Happy Gilmore Cleaning Girls Customer Appreciation BBQ

DSC_0036The festive aroma of peppers and onions on a hot grill greet us as we enter Memorial Park in Newberg. I see a few familiar faces and am reminded of being glad for the cordial invite.


From Left: Jake, Beth, Kristin & David

Kristin McColm, owner of Happy Gilmore Cleaning Girls, greets me with her ever kind way. She was actually the very first person I ever met upon making my way out and about after moving to Newberg a few years ago. We are both busy people, but when we run across each other, it’s like seeing an old friend. The history is short, but the vibe is ancient.



I see Jake Ramirez, owner of Water Bear Carpet Cleaning & Restoration, grilling up some plump emerald peppers. It’s a hot one, and his diligence at the large, sooty grill shows off his ingrained work ethic in a subconscious and humble manner. We have a nice chat about roasting peppers, and I share about a time I spent in New Mexico experiencing my first green chilies. I briefly met Jake just this summer, in passing at Tunes On Tuesday.

DSC_0035A perk to a small town is quickly getting to know others. I initially engaged with Beth, who volunteers with the Newberg Animal Shelter, just last week. She recognized me and helped our family to feel welcomed and fit in as a natural part of the gathering. She added effort to organize the event.

Sharing shade with nice people is a wonderful way to spend a heated, near end-of-summer day. Kristin gets in some nice lovey time with Sender as she prepares again for a baby on the way. Congratulations!


Baskets of contest entries line the clean picnic tables. Simply drop a business card and it’s good luck to the winner. There are prizes for Red Hills Market of Dundee, Social Goods: A Newberg Family Market, and services from both Happy Gilmore Cleaning Girls and Water Bear, all sponsored by these two uniquely named businesses. It’s appealing to enter for a nice local and practical prize.


There are so many good eats to be had. Everything from charbroiled burgers to chips to grilled veggies. There are 4 huge coolers stocked with family friendly drinks. Fresh cut watermelons and “pile on the makin’s” plates ready to go for a sizzling grilled burger. Thanks for all the picnic effort. It feels like a Southern summer, full of child chatter, lightheartedness, and bit of sweetened sweat.


Several summer slinging kids are showing off their muscles with energetic games of bocce ball. They toss, and giggle, and toss again. Their polite demeanor is curious in the dog-days sun. There is a natural teamwork condensed in these athletic young playmates.



These youngsters have some Babylonian stamina when it comes to building and rebuilding a giant tower of Jenga under the shady park awning.

DSC_0069The star of the show is definitely the banana yellow slip n’ slide, a true 80’s classic of summer nostalgia. Kristin’s husband David, ensures the perpetual streams of cool rain from the oscillating sprinkler create a dazzling summertime oasis of slippery splash-dash. Watching for mini-rainbows and ramping up speed to hit the purple pool at the end, is the simplistic, yet enchanting goal for these water whippersnappers. Sender takes a couple of footie splashes.



Through the shady day, clients pop in and out, grabbing a juicy burger, and saying hello and thanks. I can see how an uncomplicated picnic in the park is an awesome way to appreciate the fans of your provided service.

We had a nice relaxing time enjoying the company of great people and witnessing just one of the many ways these two awesome local companies come together and give back to their customers and the community.


Water Bear and Happy Gilmore Cleaning Girls Customer Appreciation BBQ Aug 20 2016


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