Posted By Kate Washington on March 7, 2012
Kate is the PDNA's Communication Committee chair leader.
From the Zimmerman Community Center Board of Directors: As a past supporter of the Zimmerman Community Center (ZCC), we wanted you to be among the first to know that we just completed an exciting transition. At the end of 2014, ZCC ceased to exist as a separate entity and started 2015 as part of Friendly House, which shares our vision of creating community in the rapidly growing Pearl neighborhood of Northwest Portland. As some of you will recall, the ZCC concept started in 1995, with a bequest from Isobel Zimmerman, a lifelong Portland resident who taught math and science at Franklin High School. Miss Zimmerman's grandfather homesteaded in Fairview, when it was a rural area east of Portland. She lived all her life in the Victorian farmhouse he built and her father expanded, which is now a Gresham City Park and museum that preserves the 20th Century life of one pioneer family (Zimmerman Heritage Farm at 171st and Sandy Blvd). Just as the Zimmermans were pioneers in East Multnomah County, so the Zimmerman Community Center was a pioneer in the River District, when it was just horse barns, rail yards and warehouses. As The Pearl grew up around us, we served the community first out of an office in Union Station, then sequentially in rented storefronts on Lovejoy, Hoyt and 10th Avenue, while we looked for a partner and permanent home. During those years, ZCC was guided by a talented and dedicated Board of Directors and ably led by Executive Directors Patricia Rumer, George Meier, and Nancy Davis, with Kristina Smock as strategic and tactical consultant. In February 2011 we moved into a permanent home on the ground floor of The Ramona, an affordable family apartment building on NW 14th and Quimby. Kris Moore succeeded Nancy Davis as Executive Director. Ed McNamara, our landlord, was a very supportive partner, as we provided programming for the families in the Ramona and the surrounding neighborhood. Over the years, we've sponsored community gardens, and offered Isobel's Clubhouse for preschoolers and their adults, after school ping pong and chess for middle schoolers, drama classes with the NW Children's Theater, and adult activities like yoga and Creative Outlet. Most recently we offered the popular After School Activities Program (ASAP) for the children from the Ramona and the Early Learner's Academy, a Portland Public Schools program also housed in The Ramona. When our center was not in use, it was available to rent by outside groups, like the Italian Preschool, and by families for birthday parties and other celebrations. Friendly House, a non-profit neighborhood center and social service agency located at NW 26th and Savier, has a long history of serving families, children and adults in NW Portland. For 85 years, they have offered quality educational, recreational and other life-sustaining services for people of all ages and backgrounds. Friendly House will now expand into The Ramona to serve the growing population around the Pearl. Initially, they expect to offer a toddler play group, exercise classes for all ages, support and education for older adults, after school enrichment classes for school age kids, and more, depending on interest and need. (See below for the link to an interest survey by Friendly House.) The facility will also be available for rent, when Friendly House programs are not being offered. To learn more, you are invited to attend an Open House at the community center (now called Friendly House in the Pearl) on Saturday January 31, from noon - 3 pm. It will be a family-friendly event with a musical puppet show by Red Yarn. Two former members of the ZCC board will ease the transition by serving on the Friendly House board. We know you will be interested in following the progress of Friendly House in the Pearl and perhaps responding to opportunities to become involved in their ongoing mission "building community, one friend at a time!" Thank you for all the past support you have provided for ZCC and our programs. It has been a pleasure to serve you and the community for 20 years! Friendly House wants your input. Please complete their survey by clicking on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FHP_NA15. Sincerely, Kim Sordyl, Chair, and the ZCC Board of Directors
Joan Pendergast is a former chair of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association and is one of the forces keeping our community livable and vibrant. Joan grew up in Skokie IL, then lived in Indiana, then Longview WA, where she was a pharmacist. She retired and came to the Pearl, moving to the Irving Street Lofts in 1999 when it was one of the first two commercial buildings to be renovated for residential. She now lives with her sister Joyce in the Irving, their mother having died last year just nine days short of her 104th birthday. Joan calls herself a "professional volunteer." She has for many years worked with the Zimmerman Community Center and volunteers at the Pearl Rotary, and First Emanuel Church on NW 18th Ave and Irving. She and Joyce spend a lot of time knitting infant hats which are sold in local boutiques for charity. Right now she is hard at work helping plan the PDNA's only fundraiser, the 22nd annual Pearl Party on Sept 13th, 2013. "I moved here six months after my twin sister Joan moved here with our mother in 1999. I bought the loft next door and built an archway between them to connect them. One was 1,450 square feet the other was 860. We all lived together. The building has always had lots of businesses in it, lawyers, photographers, a recording studio, and I really like that. I've seen lots of restaurants come and go, but one of my favorites was Little Wing on 13th Ave. Some things have changed a lot - where REI is was just concrete walls and a parking lot - but the people are not too different. There were less of them, people and dogs. There was less retail and you didn't find tourists on the corner with maps. But I like them, I always ask if I can help. We called the building opposite us the Rag Factory, because their windows were packed with the rags they supplied, but it's really the Crane Building. If I have nothing to do you'll find me at home, knitting. We have a knitting group at Isobel's Clubhouse on Wednesdays, and a couple of gals bring watercolors, so we call it Creative Outlet. I'm especially glad they built a grocery store. The Safeway is just three blocks away, I use my little grocery cart. It used to be less convenient. Where Cucina Verde is, that used to be Holden's and they sold bread and milk. After my mother died we sold our car. All the services we need are in the Pearl, and if not there are taxis. I imagine I've met people of all ages, interests and economic strata, the Pearl is so diverse. I've met so many wonderful people through the neighborhood association. And I have discovered two women who went to same high school as me, Niles Township HS in Skokie, one through my book club and one through my bridge club. I just love the Pearl, it's like living in small village. My next move is going to be in clay jar or a pine box." Creative Outlet is at Isobel's Clubhouse in the Ramona, from noon to 2 pm on Wednesdays, free with donation to Zimmerman Community Center. 542 NW 14th Ave, Portland, OR 97209, (503) 224 4636
Jamison Square Park Saturday, April 19, 2014 Noon to 4:00 p.m. Store-to-Store Easter Egg Hunt – Noon to 3:00 p.m. Bring the whole family, collect treats, do art projects, and search for this year’s “signature” Easter Egg cut-out that is creatively hidden in participating merchants’ windows or shops. Collect stamps to complete your map, vote for the best window displays, get “bounce back” offers for special deals in the future, and be entered to win raffle prizes. Live Music, Treats and Raffle Winners – 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Hop to Jamison Square to learn the raffle winners and listen to live music with Jenna Ellefson and Amanda Breese – original Americana string music.