Archive for October, 2013

Oregon Food Bank Harvest Dinner Gala 2013

Fall is the harvest season–traditionally known as a time to celebrate and give thanks for a successful harvest and plentiful food. Ancient people held grand festivals to show appreciation for their crop, and Oregon Food Bank’s annual Harvest Dinner is a modern opportunity for Oregonians to celebrate the tradition, give thanks for the nourishing food they have, and support those not as fortunate not only during “harvest season” but the rest of the year.

West Coast Event Productions has partnered with Oregon Food Bank (OFB) for the past six years to produce this great event. While the harvest theme remains consistent, Jaime Huxford, Pat Smith, and the rest of the West Coast team work to ensure the event is unique each year, while maintaining the elements that brand this event, and the values of Oregon Food Bank so well.

“Oregon Harvest Dinner had for a couple of years, used greater themes that drove the décor…one year we built a huge two story red barn and had scarecrows.  Another year we did an Oregon theme and showcased different areas in Oregon including a Burnside bridge and a Mt. Hood inspired backdrop.  The past two years, OFB wanted to bring Oregon Harvest Dinner event’s focus back on the work OFB does. Décor often utilizes items in their warehouse, using pallet walls (which constructed a whiskey bar this year!) and stacks of food on pallets for backdrops.  This year, OFB incorporated their annual donor recognition awards into the event, and provided large banners that celebrated their honorees” said Huxford.

“We’re so fortunate to be able to hold this event in our warehouse, so we want to ensure that the warehouse is part of the event and the decor,” said OFB Special Events Coordinator, Tracey Walker of the more authentic warehouse atmosphere. “West Coast Event Productions has done a great job at highlighting the food stored in the warehouse, and hiding the not so pretty parts with little creative touches that are rough, rustic, and fun.”

Attendees at Oregon Harvest Dinner helped provide support for OFB’s work to secure and distribute food through the OFB Network, and to find solutions to hunger through innovative programs. Last fiscal year, for the second consecutive year, over one million emergency food boxes were distributed by OFB. Distribution of food boxes has increased 41 percent in the past five years, and where there’s higher demand, there must be higher supply. Look for the save the date for Oregon Harvest Dinner next year for a fabulous night to give thanks and give back. See what other neat ways you can support Oregon Food Bank at community driven events, like Season’s Eatings in December. Corporate sponsors—consider including Oregon Harvest Dinner 2014 in your sponsorship budget now, and help with current efforts focusing on food supply, childhood hunger, and increasing fresh food availability.

See a whiskey bar made out of Oregon Food Bank pallets and the full album and more photos on the Portland Society Page


SOLVE- Bluegrass and Blue Denim!

SOLVE supporters kicked up their heels at the Bluegrass and Blue Jeans fundraiser at Pure Space Friday, October 25th, to raise money to support on-going efforts to improve the environment and award those dedicated to the environmentally driven cause. The purpose of the fundraiser, like the décor, was simple but impactful—to support SOLVE’s mission. SOLVE’s Special Events Coordinator, Emily Sullivan, choose Pure Space for its versatility, size, and ability to transform to compliment the laid back event.

“Bluegrass and Blue Jeans was an evening to honor people who have gone out of their way, and taken it upon themselves to say ‘this is our community, and we will do something to help’” said Sullivan.

The 19th annual Citizenship Awards Banquet, Bluegrass and Blue Jeans, was an evening of wine tasting, music by “Jackstraw”, fabulous dinning by Art of Catering, and program recognizing very deserving individuals—a local teacher, community group, individuals, and a group of a business’ employees for their dedication and involvement with SOLVE, and improving the environment. See the well deserving recipients below.

The event décor and theme mimicked award recipients, John and Fran von Schlegell’s easy-going attitude, and after all, “SOLVE is about picking up trash and plating trees” said Sullivan of the tastefully casual design.

The décor was casual indeed, though West Coast lead, Elizabeth Garcia, and Sullivan steered clear of burlap and hay bales for the Bluegrass and Blue Jeans event. Small 12 by 12 inch wooden crates with candles and wild flowers created centerpieces for the navy blue linen adorning round tables that seated the 400 guests. Standing cocktail tables around the space wore causal cloth themselves, sporting blue denim linens to match the guests’ lower halves. New Season’s gave away 450 jars of jam for a down home gesture of appreciation in support for our Oregon environment.

SOLVE organizes over 1,000 volunteer opportunities a year. Opportunities to give back and help cultivate a nourishing and thriving environment for today’s and future Oregonians include planting trees, beach clean-up and various other activities that are great for the whole family and groups. Check out upcoming SOLVE events and get in on the action. Be prepared to mark your calendars for next year’s 20th Annual Citizenship Awards Banquet, and ask yourself “What can you do to be an Oregon hero” this year? See more on the Portland Society Page

SOLVE Citizenship Awards guests enjoyed wines from:

  • Bethel Heights Vineyard
  • Brick House
  • Cristom
  • Domaine Drouhin
  • J.K. Carriere Wines
  • Mahonia Vineyard
  • Penner Ash Wine Cellars
  • WillaKenzie Estate Winery

Dinner Wine Sponsor: Great Northern Asset Management

Award Recipients:

John and Fran von Schlegell
Tom McCall Leadership Award

Steve Miesen
Individual Citizenship Award

Peter Walczak
Educator Citizenship Award

Beach Drive Buccaneers
Community Group Citizenship Award

Fred Meyer Stores
Business Citizenship Award

Sumo and Sushi

Do you love sushi, extreme sports, and Japanese culture? This event may be your cup of tea! Sumo + Sushi  will be held on November 16th at Pure Space.  Sumo and Sushi will ignite all your senses with a complete Japanese culinary experience, featuring uniquely creative food and live professional sumo wrestling.

The 90-minute sumo show features three-time World Sumo Champion Byambajav Ulambayar; five-time US Sumo Champion Kelly Gneiting; and highest division Pro Sumo All-Star Yama, one of the heaviest Japanese humans ever. While a pro sumo emcee explains the rules, technique, and sumo culture, you can cheer on your favorite wrestler as these three massive athletes smash together in front of your table.

Tickets range from $69 to a VIP ticket for $99.  You can purchase them here.  Looking forward to seeing you in the ring at Pure Space for this not-so-everyday living social event!



Portland Japanese Garden 50th Anniversary

West Coast Event Productions, Inc. helped the Portland Japanese Garden celebrate 50 years of breathtaking landscape at the Portland Art Museum Saturday, October 19th. Garden inspired centerpieces meandered down the table, with autumn trees so literal you could almost smell fall. Called the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan, the 5.5 acre Portland Japanese Garden is composed of five gardens, all incorporating the three characteristic elements of Japanese Gardens–stone, water, and plants. Entering a Japanese garden, one is supposed to feel harmony, tranquility, and peace. Japanese gardens are also asymmetrical in design . The traditional concepts behind a Japanese garden were kept in serious consideration as decor and placement of the garden’s 50th anniversary event were selected.

Japanese garden inspired centerpieces meandered down the tables, reflective of scenery, plants, and symmetry observed in the Portland Japanese Garden. Photo credit: Cody Maxwell

Table sized fall foliage stood as gorgeous amber focal points. It was important that the trees were not too tall, as it is important in Japanese gardens that vegetation is kept proportional and not demeaning in stature. Those in the garden are meant to feel at one with nature, not belittled. Photo credit: Cody Maxwell

A Look Back on Some of Our Favorite Weddings

Inside Out Wedding Luxury- New Rental Products

Bringing the outside in is a classic design concept from wedding decor, to home decorating. Greenery and elements of nature add a pleasing aesthetic to open up confined spaces. On the contrary, bringing the inside out, is a growing trend for outdoor wedding decor and rentals–particularly lighting and lounge furniture. The stark contrast between a beautiful, natural, outdoor landscape and the scene of a lush elegant sitting room fit for the queen, or in the very least, an A list celebrity’s mansion, provides an intimate, cozy and elegant feel to a vast outdoor space. Chandeliers provide romantic ambiance, while over-sized lounge furniture coneys a sense of warmth. Below are new rentals added to the West Coast collection as fabulous lounge furniture and lighting rentals for outdoor vineyard and winery weddings, or ceremonies and receptions on the water. The pillows are hand-made West Coast creations as well! Outside or in, inside or out, these pieces are an enchanting addition.

See more chandelier lighting and lounge furniture options.