We offer the Memo Calendar to you to publicize events open to the community at large. When sending submissions, please include details that apply and a contact name and phone number or e-mail address. Submissions for January are due Saturday, Dec. 15. For best results, e-mail Darlene Vinson at editor@midcountymemo.com or mail your submissions to 3510 N.E. 134th Ave., Portland, OR 97230. To leave a phone message, call 503-287-8904.

EVENTS, ACTIVITIES and CELEBRATIONS

Christmas Festival of Lights
The Grotto’s 31st annual Christmas Festival of Lights is open. This Portland tradition runs nightly through Dec. 30, except Christmas Day.

Guests stroll among 1.5 million colorful lights, which line the scenic pathways. New this year, a spectacular 150-foot living Christmas tree will stand at the entrance at Northeast 85th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard.

The festival features 196 indoor holiday concerts performed by many of the region’s finest school, church and civic choirs. Five concerts are scheduled each night and will perform in the 600-seat chapel, known for its cathedral-like acoustics. It claims to be the world’s largest Christmas choral festival. Enjoy these local choirs and artists: 

• Mt. Hood Community College Symphonic and Chamber Choirs, Nov. 30, 5:55 p.m.
• David Douglas High School Concert Choir, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m.
• Portland Christian High School Concert Choir, Dec. 9, 5:15 p.m.
• David Douglas High School Choir, Dec. 12, 6 p.m.
• Trinity Lutheran Schools Choir, Dec. 14, 5:15 p.m.
• Parkrose UMC Chancel Choir, Dec. 17, 5:15 p.m. 
• Parkrose High School A-Choir, Debs and Chorale, Dec. 19, 8 p.m.
• Michael Allen Harrison, Dec. 30, 8 p.m.

The Festival also features a petting zoo, nightly puppet shows and a chance to sing along with The Grotto Carolers.

Holiday foods and beverages are also available, as is seasonal shopping in The Grotto gift shop.

The Festival is open from 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly, with the grounds closing at 10 p.m.

Tickets are sold at the gate. All proceeds support The Grotto, helping maintain its beautiful grounds throughout the year.

Admission prices are general $12, senior and military $11, youth ages three to 12 $6 and children two and under are free.

Parking is free on site. Thanks to a partnership with TriMet, an overflow parking lot with free shuttle is located at the Parkrose/Sumner Park & Ride and MAX station on Sandy Boulevard.

For more information, go to thegrotto.org.

Parkrose farmland development options
The Rossi, Giusto and Garre farms on Northeast 122nd Avenue have been family farms in the community for more than a century. Now the owners, working with the City of Portland, want to explore options to create something new that will serve their community for years to come. The Parkrose-Argay Development Study will explore options to create a completer and more connected neighborhood on the 30-acre site at Northeast 122nd Avenue and Shaver Street Tuesday, Dec. 11 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Parkrose Middle School, 11800 N.E. Shaver St.

Share your vision for the future of the area and your thoughts about how possible future development of the property can help achieve that vision.

For more information about the Parkrose-Argay Development Study, visit portlandoregon.gov/bps/77843.

Get out and explore nature 
Enjoy free parking at Oxbow and Blue Lake regional parks, Broughton Beach, M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp and Chinook Landing Marine Park Thursday, Dec. 20.

Parking at all other Metro parks and boat ramps is free year-round. Visit oregonmetro.gov or contact Metro Parks and Nature at 503-665-4995 or parksandnature@oregonmetro.gov to learn more. 

FUNDRAISERS

Donate cans and bottles to Parkrose

Parkrose Future Business Leaders of America students collecting refundable bottles and cans at the monthly pop can drive last month. STAFF/2018

Parkrose Future Business Leaders of America students collecting refundable bottles and cans at the monthly pop can drive last month.
STAFF/2018

Parkrose High students collect and sort your returnable cans and bottles at the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Parkrose Middle School turnaround, 11800 N.E. Shaver St. Bronco Blaze students will welcome your donations Saturday, Dec. 1. Parkrose cheer will do handsprings when you swing by with your post-holiday cans and bottles Saturday, Jan. 5. 

Recycle your Christmas tree
Boy Scout Troop 606 annual Christmas tree recycle is Saturdays, Dec. 29 and Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, Dec. 30 and Jan. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 12505 N.E. Halsey St. The fee is $5 per tree. 

If you would like to have your tree picked up, call or text 503-933-1611 or e-mail sueml@msn.com. The fee is $10. 

Flocked trees will not be accepted.

Party in Parkrose
“Celebrate the Night in Black and White” in celebration of 25 years of Parkrose Educational Foundation enhancing the educational experiences of Parkrose students is Saturday, April 27, 2019. Plan now to attend this 16th annual event to raise funds and keep the tradition of support going for another quarter century. Contact predfdn@gmail.com if you have questions or an item to donate. Tickets will be available soon.

CLUBS and ORGANIZATIONS

Put your needlework skills to work 
The Turban Makers group makes cancer turbans, knit hats, scarves, lap robes, pillows and pillowcases for eight area hospitals. Since 2002, they have donated more than 20,000 turbans, hats and scarves; 6,000 pillows; and nearly 2,000 lap robes to oncology groups. Crafters work at home and meet the third Tuesday of the month (Dec. 18 this month) from 1 to 3 p.m. at Parkrose United Methodist Church, 11111 N.E. Knott St. If you want to make a difference in the community with your crafts, this is the group for you. To learn more, contact Judy Wilson at 503-255-1915.

Potluck followed by gardening program
Celebrate the season at the annual Villa Garden Club festive potluck luncheon Thursday, Dec.27 at 10:30 a.m. at Savage Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1740 S. E. 139th Ave. You’re invited to join the luncheon and enjoy a gardening program. 

Please call Chris McClure for more information at 503-489-5437.

Give scouting a try
Cub Scout Pack 606 is open to school-aged youth up to age 11. It meets Monday nights at 6 p.m. Troop 606 is open to boys age 11 to 17. It meets at 7 p.m. Mondays. Meetings are at Menlo Park Elementary School, 12900 N.E. Glisan St. 

Become part of the scouting experience. 

Central East Portland (CEP) Rotary meets at Elmer’s Restaurant, 10001 N.E. Sandy Blvd., every Thursday morning at 7 a.m. CEP Rotary funds college scholarships, mentors students and raises money to fight muscular dystrophy and polio.

Montavilla Kiwanis Club meets Tuesdays at noon at Stark Street Pizza, 9234 S.E. Stark St. Montavilla Kiwanis is part of a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.

Rotary Club of Northeast Portland club meets Tuesdays at noon at Bradford’s Sports Lounge, 10346 N.E. Halsey St.

Midway Business Association meets the second Tuesday of each month at noon at Pizza Baron, 2604 S.E. 122nd Ave.

Gateway Area Business Association meets the second Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, 1515 N.E. 106th Ave. Network with local business owners over lunch.

GIVING BACK

Advocate for seniors
Volunteer advocates are needed in Mid-county for elderly living in long-term care facilities. Help safeguard the well-being of vulnerable seniors and others in nursing homes, assisted living or residential care facilities and adult foster homes. As a Certified Ombudsman volunteer, you will help to ensure the rights and dignity of the residents. Local training and support are provided. Schedules are flexible and are typically about four hours a week. Learn more at 800-522-2602 or oregon.gov/ltco.

Help maintain historic cemetery
Powell Grove Cemetery, tucked in the traffic circle at Northeast 122nd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard, is one of the oldest cemeteries in Multnomah County. Argay Terrace resident Stan Clarke would like to create a Friends of Powell Grove Cemetery group to periodically tidy this last resting place of early Parkrose settlers. 

Clarke envisions a group of volunteers who will come into remove grass clippings from the markers after the Metro mow crews do their work. He would also like to see flowers on all the graves each Memorial Day. 

If you are interested in becoming part of group that will honor the families buried in Powell Grove, contact Clarke at srclarke@ix.netcom.com or 503-253-9886.

THE ARTS

Upcoming concerts at PHS 
Parkrose music students are ready to show off their talents at a series of concerts this month in the Parkrose High School (PHS) theater, 12003 N.E. Shaver St. 

First up is the winter band concert Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. The winter choir concert is Thursday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. Both concerts are free. 

Sunday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. is the annual Swingle Bells Benefit Concert by the Jazz Express, PHS jazz band and Debonaires. Tickets are $5. 

ECCO winter concert this month
The East County Community Orchestra (ECCO), directed by David L. Kinch, will perform its winter concert, “A Musical Wonderland,” Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Horner Performing Arts Center, David Douglas High School, 1400 S.E. 130th Ave. Downbeat is at 3:00 p.m. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Among pieces presented will be “A Mad Russian’s Christmas” by Paul O’Neill, Robert Kinkel and Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky and arranged by Bob Phillips; “Christmas Sing-Along” arranged by Bob Cerulli; and “The Twelve Days of Christmas” arranged by David L. Kinch.

Established in 1978, ECCO continues celebrating its 40th year. The 60-member orchestra consists of amateur and professional musicians from East Clackamas County, Portland, Vancouver and surrounding communities. ECCO musicians are primarily from the ranks of the retired. All musicians volunteer their time and energy.

Director David Kinch and musicians will be available for a meet and greet over free refreshments at intermission. 

ECCO is a nonprofit organization. Admission to the concert is free. To help defray costs, donations are welcome and tax-deductible.

Visit eccoorchestra.org to learn more. 

FAITH and VALUES

Area Christmas services
St. Therese Catholic Church, 1260 N.E. 132nd Ave., Christmas Novena Masses, Dec. 16 to 23, 7 p.m. 

St. Rita Catholic Church, 10029 N.E. Prescott St., Advent Penance service, Dec. 18, 7 p.m.

Rivercrest Community Church, 3201 N.E. 148th Ave., Christmas Eve service, Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. 

Celebrate Norwegian festival of lights
The 37th annual Julesangfest, a celebration of Norwegian Christmas music and traditions, is Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3:15 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 S.E. Market St. 

The Portland Scandinavian Chorus, solo vocalist Jackie Van Paepeghem Mulaney, Joan Haaland Paddock on the trumpet and lur, Pacific Northwest Psalmodikan Ensemble, Amey Herman on the Hardanger fiddle and Karl Jurisons on the organ and piano will perform.

Lucia and her court will make an appearance. 

Parking is free. Free will offerings will be accepted to help offset expenses. Refreshments to follow furnished by the Daughters of Norway.

Free Christmas concert
The Sunnyside Seventh-Day Adventist Church 37th annual Christmas musical program is Friday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at 10503 S.E. Market St. You will enjoy an evening of Christmas music presented by some of Portland’s finest musicians. 

Bring your musical score and participate in the finale—Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from “Messiah.” An offering will be accepted. Refreshments will be served after the program. 

NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEETINGS
East Portland Action Plan general meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at David Douglas School District office board room, 1500 S.E. 130th Ave. The purpose of the East Portland Action Plan general meeting is to coordinate implementation of action items in the East Portland Action Plan. Childcare and dinner will be provided. Dinner served at 6 p.m. Interpretation provided upon request with reasonable notice. Contact Lore Wintergreen at 503-823-4035 or lore.wintergreen@portlandoregon.gov.

East Portland Action Plan Housing Subcommittee meeting Monday, Dec. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at East Portland Neighborhood Office, 1017 N.E. 117th Ave.

The purpose of this subcommittee is to find common ground in supporting a range of housing types in East Portland to strengthen livable communities; encourage healthy, complete and stable neighborhoods; and promote family wage jobs.

Land Use and Transportation Committee meeting, Wednesday, Dec.12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 1017 N.E. 117th Ave.

East Portland Action Plan Civic Engagement Subcommittee meeting Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at East Portland Neighborhood Office, 1017 N.E. 117th Ave.

The purpose of this subcommittee is to organize cultural and language-specific civic engagement workshops, share curriculum, advocate for ongoing funding and advise on East Portland cultural and language-specific issues and projects.

Dinner and Spanish/English interpretation provided. If you or someone you know wants interpretation in an additional language or childcare, contact Lore Wintergreen at lore.wintergreen@portlandoregon.gov.

East Portland Action Plan Communication Committee meeting Wednesday, Dec. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at East Portland Neighborhood Office, 1017 N.E. 117th Ave.

The purpose of this committee is to provide communication support (materials and web page development and translation/interpretation) to the East Portland Action Plan.

Mill Park Neighborhood Association board meeting: Monday, Dec. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 11560 S.E. Market St. Contact mill.park.pdx.chair@gmail.com for more information.

Glenfair Neighborhood Association board meeting: Thursday, Dec. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at 1017 N.E. 117 Ave.

LIBRARIES
Gregory Heights Library, 7921 N.E. Sandy Blvd., 503-988-5123

Space at programs is limited. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, except as noted.

FOR FAMILIES
Toddler Storytime: Storytime for children 24 to 36 months with adult. Wednesdays through Dec. 19, 10:15 to 11 a.m. 

Tiny Tots: Storytime for children 12 to 24 months with adult. Thursdays through Dec. 20, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. 

Book Babies: Storytime for children newborn to 12 months with adult. Thursdays through Dec. 20, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. 

Preschool Storytime: Storytime for children 3 to 6 years with adult. Fridays through Dec. 21, 10:15 to 11 a.m. 

Family Storytime: Storytime for children newborn to 6 years with adult. Saturdays through Dec. 15, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. 

Bored Games: Drop in to play some board games, including Sequence, Bananagrams, Forbidden Desert, Sorry, Apples to Apples, chess and more. Children 10 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Thursday, Dec. 20, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

The Snowy Bus Stop: It’s the middle of winter and a popular bus stop in Puppet Town is cold, snowy and busy. The bus is running late, and as puppets gather and wait, they trade stories and songs to help keep each other warm. As winter progresses, they find gifts of things they need left on the bench. In the end, the snowy bus stop ends up being the warmest place in the city. An original Penny’s Puppet Production full of puppets, fun and laughter. Saturday, Dec. 22 from 10:15 to 11 a.m. 

FOR KIDS AND TEENS
Follow the Reader: Practice your new reading skills with a teen buddy. Discover new books, learn new words and make a new friend. Sign up for a 30-minute session to read with a specially trained teen volunteer. Registration required; call 503-988-5123. Saturdays through Dec. 15, 4 to 5 p.m. 

Take-Apart Mechanic: Your curious mind can’t help but wonder how mechanical stuff works, and you love taking gizmos and gadgets apart just to see their inner workings. Do some serious forensic work with Tinker Camp by using tools to dismantle things like old radios, motors, toys and more. There’s a mystery inside these everyday mechanical items, and you’re invited to unlock the secret of how things work. Bonus challenge for fanatic mechanics: put it back together again! For teens in grades 6 to 12. Registration required; register online, in the library or by calling 503-988-5123. Friday, Dec. 21 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

FOR ADULTS
Vietnamese Knitting Club: Come join the fun and learn how to knit and crochet together. All ages and experience levels welcome. Please bring your own supplies. Mondays through Dec. 17, 12:30 to 2 p.m. 

A Good Yarn: Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, come join the fun as we learn together. All experience levels and ages welcome. Please bring your own supplies. Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m., except Dec. 25.

Language Exchange: Practice English or Spanish and help other learners in a friendly atmosphere. Saturdays, 4 to 5:30 p.m. 

Talk Time: Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. Sundays, 12:30 to 2 p.m. 

Pageturners Book Group: Read “The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family” by Mary S. Lovell. Engage in conversation about books and get to know your neighbors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Monday, Dec. 17 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

COMPUTER CLASSES
Computer Help: Friendly, patient lab assistants are available to help you practice your computer skills. In Spanish and English. Wednesdays, 4 to 5:30 p.m., except Dec. 26.

Vietnamese Computer Help: Library volunteers provide one-on-one assistance with basic computer functions like setting up e-mail accounts and filling out online forms and applications. Wednesdays, 4 to 5:30 p.m., except Dec. 26.

Midland Library, 805 S.E. 122nd Ave.,503-988-5123
Space at programs is limited. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, except as noted.

FOR FAMILIES
Book Babies: Storytime for children newborn to 12 months with adult. Mondays through Dec. 17, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m. 

Tiny Tots: Storytime for children 12 to 24 months with adult. Tuesdays, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., except Dec. 25.

Toddler Storytime: Storytime for children 24 to 36 months with adult. Fridays, 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., except Dec. 28.

Family Storytime: Storytime for children newborn to 6 years with adult. Fridays, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., except Dec. 28.

Preschool Storytime: Storytime for children 3 to 6 years with adult. Mondays through Dec. 17, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., and Tuesdays, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., except Dec. 25.

Black Storytime: The African and African American experience comes alive for children newborn to 6 years with a favorite adult and other family members. Saturdays, 11:15 to 11:45 a.m., except Dec. 29.

Chinese Storytime: Storytime presented in Cantonese for children ages newborn to 6 years with adult. Saturdays, 2 to 2:45 p.m. 

Vietnamese Storytime: Storytime presented in Vietnamese for children newborn to 6 years with adult. Sundays, 1 to 1:45 p.m., except Dec. 23 and 30.

Russian Storytime: Storytime presented in Russian for children newborn to 6 years with adult. Thursdays, 6 to 6:45 p.m., except Dec. 27.

FOR KIDS AND TEENS
Teen Council: Build leadership skills, work on creative projects, plan events, earn service hours and have fun with other teens and library staff. Snacks provided. Mondays through Dec. 10, 4 to 5:30 p.m. 

Read to the Dogs: Improve your reading skills and make a new friend by reading aloud to a therapy dog. The dogs and handlers are from Pet Partners®. Registration required; call 503-988-5123. Sundays, Dec. 2, 16 and 30 from noon to 2 p.m. 

FOR ADULTS
English Classes: Free ESL classes. All levels welcome. Mondays and Fridays, 1 to 2:30 p.m., except Dec. 24. Wednesdays and Thursdays through Dec. 13, 6 to 7:30 p.m. 

Adult Literacy Tutoring: Drop in to work one-on-one with a tutor. Get help with reading, writing, math, English and the GED. Tuesdays through Dec. 11, 5 to 7 p.m. 

Talk Time: Talk Time is an informal conversation circle for non-native speakers to practice speaking English. Saturdays, 3:30 to 5 p.m. 

Language Exchange: Practice English or Spanish and help other learners in a friendly atmosphere. Sundays 3 to 4:30 p.m. 

Printmaking for the Holidays: Printmaking is a wonderful way to add personal touches to holiday cards, wrapping papers, decorations and more. Students of this fun and engaging workshop will design, carve and print their own lino block stamps. Participants will take home their carved lino blocks so that they can continue preparing for holiday festivities on their own. Registration required; register online, in the library or by calling 503-988-5123. Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. 

Weatherization Workshop: Whether you own or rent and whether you’re in an apartment, mobile home or house, you can make basic improvements to make your home more comfortable by saving energy and money. Learn how to implement simple measures to lower home energy use by installing effective weatherization materials using basic tools such as scissors and a screwdriver. Each participating income-qualified Multnomah County household receives a free kit of materials. Register online with the Community Energy Project at communityenergyproject.org/get-involved/calendar. Saturday, Dec. 1 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Pageturners Book Groups: Engage in conversation about books and get to know your neighbors. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. 

Read “The Storied City: The Quest for Timbuktu and the Fantastic Mission to Save Its Past” by Charlie English. Tuesday, Dec. 18 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Read “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. Wednesday, Dec. 19 from 1 to 2:15 p.m.

COMPUTER CLASSES
Tech Help: Meet one-on-one for 30 minutes with a friendly Tech Helper. Registration required; register online, in the library or by calling 503-988-5123. Mondays, 3 to 5 p.m. 

Computer Help: Friendly, patient assistants are available to help you practice your computer skills. Tuesdays, 5 to 7:30 p.m.