My wife attended several scientific conferences in Italy this year, with the last one held on the Amalfi Coast in June, where I joined her for a little R&R. We arrived at the train station in Vietri sul Mare on a Monday evening, but when we stepped off the platform there wasn’t a taxi to be found. Nor a station attendant. As she gave me one of those looks, I said, “it’s a small town, the hotel can’t be that far;” we picked up our bags and started hiking down the stairs that cut between multiple levels of the serpentine roadway leading from the station down the hill into the town center. As we came into the main piazza, we realized why nobody was at the station. The town was holding its annual Festival of its patron San Giovanni Battista (John the Baptist). As we tried to navigate with our baggage through the narrow streets crowded with tourists, citizens, families, and a 40-piece brass band, I felt like a salmon swimming upstream.

Reflecting on the situation, I was struck by how familiar the town festival felt, even though it was a modern version of a centuries-old Catholic celebration. Summer is a time of celebration in communities all over the world, including dozens of cities and towns here in Oregon. Every week there are pancake breakfasts, main street parades, carnivals, car shows, and more somewhere in the area. Some are large events, like the Portland Rose Festival or the St. Paul Rodeo; others are more small-town affairs like Prineville’s Western Days or McMinnville’s Turkey Rama. All these events are opportunities for people to gather and celebrate being part of a community, something most of us greatly enjoy.

Rental Housing Alliance Oregon has its own summer traditions, providing our members an opportunity to celebrate being part of our community of housing providers. Our annual Under a Starry Night fundraiser will be held on Wednesday July 17 at our offices on NE Weidler in Portland. We hold this event in lieu of our monthly dinner in July, and it is a wonderful opportunity to help raise funds for supporting local housing agencies in our community, a longstanding tradition at RHA. If you are a supplier to our industry, this is a great way to connect with the membership of RHA and support our community. I encourage you to donate products or services that may be auctioned off at this event. If you are a regular (landlord) member of RHA, please come out and support our organization, our affiliate members, and our charities.

As we have for dozens of years, RHA will be holding its Annual Picnic on Wednesday August 7 at Oaks Amusement Park in Sellwood, and the price can’t be beat! RHA members can purchase an adult dinner ticket for $5; children 12 and under eat free. We are also providing Deluxe Ride Bracelets for $12.50, which is more than 40% below the single-bracelet price at Oaks Park! This is another great opportunity for all our members and their families to connect with one another in the environment of a “company picnic.” If you or your organization are not yet a member of RHA, join now to take advantage of this benefit! We are still signing up sponsors at all levels for this event. More information about both Under a Starry Night and our Annual Picnic may be found on the Calendar/Event page of the RHA website. I hope to see you at both!

Ken Schriver, RHA Oregon President