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Sylvania Winter Fest lights up the holidays for Neighborhood House

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Sylvania-based faculty and staff enjoyed a feast – from pasta to sushi to meatballs to dessert – at the campus’ annual Winter Fest gala, held in the cafeteria Dec. 9.

Mary Lou McCann, administrative assistant for the Women’s Resource Center, assists with distributing gift tickets at this year’s Winter Fest.

Once again a variety of campus departments and divisions voluntarily participated in the event by creating festive, themed baskets that were awarded to attendees who bought gift tickets. The sale of gift tickets benefitted Neighborhood House, a non-profit agency dedicated to feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and educating the young and old.

Music ran throughout the event – History instructor Sylvia Gray kicked things off by playing the piano; John Mery, music and dance faculty chair, led student instrumental performances; and Julianne Johnson, a music instructor, conducted PCC’s student choir of 50 who sang a variety of holiday songs.

“I am so proud of those who were part of the Winter Fest celebration, either in the planning or with the baskets,” said Linda Gerber, Sylvania Campus president, who served as the event MC. She added that in helping Neighborhood House, the campus helps its students.

Santa’s helpers at Sylvania’s Winter Fest celebration include (from left to right) Jen Piper, facilities supervisor, physical education; Christine Manning, instructor, physical education; and Sherry Smith, coordinator, Print Center.

“We know that a number of our students use Neighborhood House services to keep their families afloat during these difficult economic times,” said Gerber.

The give-away of approximately 30 basket entries, gift certificates and donations from local restaurants and businesses generated nearly $900 for Neighborhood House. Additionally, attendees willingly brought canned food for the non-profit’s food pantry in Multnomah Village, which resulted in more than 500 lbs. of food. Neighborhood House collaborates with the Oregon Food Bank to provide emergency food boxes for individuals and families in need who reside in southwest Portland.

“We appreciate the support, and even more, we value the relationship [with PCC],” said Rick Nitti, executive director of Neighborhood House, who attended Winter Fest. “In many ways, we share common goals and the people we work on behalf of.”