Building relationships at Orondo

Participants at the Dec. 7 Orondo Partnerships potluck socialize after the meal. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

About 50 Orondo residents gathered at the school gymnasium Dec. 7 for a potluck supper and conversation.

Several town hall meetings were held in Orondo last year as residents gathered to discuss ways the community could better connect and meet needs. Orondo Partnerships was the first event resulting from those meetings.

“Orondo Partnerships is one thing that has evolved out of our town hall meetings,” Jenna Knight, one of the organizers said. “We are starting with a monthly potluck. Our goal is to bring the community together. Our mission is to build relationships, coordinate opportunities and advocate for Orondo.”

Allison Podlich began the event by inviting everyone to gather in a circle for introductions. She explained that those attending the town hall meetings had expressed a desire to eat together and get better acquainted with one another.

“Tonight’s potluck will be the first of the monthly events we hope to have for our community,” she said.

As each family or individual in the circle introduced themselves, there was a mixture of friends representative of Orondo’s diverse community including the Hispanic community, Sun Cove residents, and business, church and school constituents. Orondo School Superintendent Dr. Ismael Vivanco and his wife attended as did families with children, couples and singles.

Podlich encouraged everyone to sit with people they did not know.

A wide variety of delicious food was shared and enjoyed by all.

Children played in the gym while adults visited and got acquainted.

The organizing committee for Orondo Partnerships includes Allison Podlich, Hannah Poush, Jenna Knight and Rose Auvil. Others are welcome to join.

At the conclusion of the meal, Podlich and Poush announced the committee’s plan to continue monthly potlucks. “Since our community wishes to meet each other and get acquainted, we want to continue to do this,” Poush said.

“We hope to do it monthly so people will get used to coming. We know everyone can’t always be here, but hopefully will come when they can,” she added. “We hope to help our widespread community connect.”

Due to the busy holidays, there will be no January potluck but they will start again in February.

After discussion about the best time and place, it was agreed that Friday nights at the school would be best. Date for the next potluck was set for 6 p.m. Feb 8 at the school.

Those attending expressed appreciation to the committee for organizing and facilitating Orondo Partnerships.

All community members are welcome to attend the next potluck in February.

For more information about Orondo Partnerships, contact Jenna Knight at (503) 887-0063, Allison Podlich at 670-5288 or Hannah Poush at 679-5288.