Mark’s Community Matters: Pine Grove

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Last night we attended the newly-returned monthly Pine Grove members’ potluck. After Covid-19 stopped indoor events, the nonprofit Pine Grove Community House had to stop many of its community-oriented activities like the regular membership potlucks. They also had to stop renting the space which is their primary source of funding. It has been a difficult couple of years for the organization.

The social hour allowed us to meet new friends and catch up on summer news with old friends. Then we all dug into an amazing array of foods from many family traditions, finishing off with a particularly delicious Apple Brown Betty (among many other tasty sweets).

The main event was the presentation by Pine Grove board members Patricia Welch and board President Lynne Gross on the soon-to-be-completed Master Plan construction, along with the regular business meeting agenda. Wendy Ryan talked about the upcoming “ReHomed Art Show” event (show dates, Oct. 14-16). Lee Hamilton coordinated the event with aplomb, volunteer bartender Tom Mock poured wine like a pro, and many other volunteers made the night a success. The presentation used the newly installed high tech A-V system, which made hearing and seeing the presenters and slides a seamless process.

In spite of Covid closures, supply scarcity and the destruction of the kitchen by flood, the Pine Grove remodel is entering its final phase. If the remodeled kitchen is any indication, these new additions will be beautiful and very functional!

Over the next few weeks they will begin construction on a small meeting room in the rear of the building which can also be used as a “Brides’ Room” for changing when wedding parties use the facility. A new interior stairway will be installed to give easy access to lower storage enabling members to bring supplies upstairs without having to go outside. The piece de resistance will be a new back patio so outdoor events can be accommodated (and good weather enjoyed).

I’m looking forward to future potlucks and the introduction of Bingo nights, as well as the return of beloved events like the ReHomed Art Show, holiday bazaars, and community meetings.

The Pine Grove Community House is an important piece of Manzanita’s history (dedicated in 1933), and is on the National Register of Historic Places. As a volunteer-run organization, they need new volunteer members to keep the programs running. I’m grateful it survived the pandemic and is moving forward with strength and more members than ever. Congratulations to the Pine Grove Board for their efforts!

I’m Mark Kuestner (KEST-ner). I’m running for City Council because I care about this community, including historical buildings and organizations like the Pine Grove. I hope to earn your support in November.