GAZEBO IN THE PARK
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
In the late 1800s, a gazebo captured the spirit and culture in Union City Park. Union was known as the "City of Victorian Heritage."
History repeats itself as a replica of the original gazebo will be built in the park this month thanks to Family Resource Coordinator Kathy Sargent.
Sargent received an e-mail from Vicky Brogoitti, director for Union County Commission on Children and Families, about a community service project through the Blazers Community Builders Youth Corps (BCBYC). She submitted a grant proposal in December.
Sargent found out March 1 that the Blazers Community Builders Youth Corps awarded a $2,500 grant to Union High School.
"The city is really excited about it," Sargent said.
The gazebo will be built by the Union High School boys basketball team, coach, assistant coach and local construction contractors.
Sargent is the mom of basketball player Joe Craig.
The gazebo will be built in the park with $1,900 of the money. The remainder funds a bus to take the Union boys varsity basketball team to Portland for the Blazers Community Builders Youth Corps Tip-Off event Saturday and Sunday at the Rose Garden.
The winning teams will be guests at the Portland Trail Blazers versus New Orleans Hornets basketball game Saturday with other Blazers Community Builders Youth Corps winning teams.
All teams spend the night at the Memorial Colliseum where they will network with their peers from other parts of Oregon and Washington.
The Blazers Community Builders Youth Corps Tip-Off Weekend will showcase the work of the BCBYC and the organizations that were funded by BCBYC.
"It's great," Union boys basketball coach James Freitag said.
He said it is nice for the Blazers to show their involvement in Northeast Oregon.
"I've not seen them here (very) involved," Freitag said.
The gazebo is scheduled to begin construction April 17.
National Youth Service Day is April 16-18. It may take the entire weekend to get the gazebo built.
"It'll take one heck of a job," Freitag said about finishing it in one day. "I'm not sure how sturdy the gazebo will be."
The completion and dedication of the gazebo will be May 22, if not earlier. This ensures the gazebo could be used for Memorial Day activity.
Freitag said the Bobcats are excited about the community service project and watching the Blazers this weekend.
"They're pretty hyped about going over to see them (the Blazers)."
Sargent said in her grant proposal that the "Union community members have been active in giving this rural town a much needed face-lift by restoring historical charm back into the town's design."
She said the project will serve the entire community.
"Youth will have free access to the gazebo, we will have story times in the gazebo in the warmer months, bands will have a place to play, community members and visitors are welcome to use the gazebo for weddings, memorials, Fourth of July Celebrations and more," Sargent states in her proposal.
"We have an annual Grassroots Celebration' in the summer that would also benefit from the gazebo, adding to the festival climate with bands playing music this will enhance the event."