“The theme of the Riverdale adult parties seems to be: pull out all the stops and have a high old time.” Party Pack fundraisers originate back to the 1950’s with dinner parties, costumes and skits. The School Board approved the use of the gym for PTC fundraising parties but prohibited gambling. They also “strongly preferred” that liquor not be consumed on the school property. However, the fact that the gym floor needed to be restored after each party may have been evidence that guidelines were not strictly enforced. All adults in the community were invited to a dinner party hosted in someone’s home prior to the dance in the school gym. Each party had a theme and parents dressed accordingly, often competing for the most wild and creative costumes. A memorable beachcomber –shipwreck party had guests making a grand entrance into the gym by descending a slide. Octopus, mermaid and grass skirt costumes abound that year. A Hawaiian themed party included orchid leis for all the women flown in from Hawaii. Over the years approximately 200 adults attended each of these fundraising parties for the school. Although some of the parties made money for the PTC, the primary reason for hosting a “Party Pack” was to encourage fun and community spirit.
Bledsoe, Helen Wieman. Riverdale School 1888-1988. Portland: Binford and Mort, 1988. Print