The 20th annual Yoshida’s Sand in the City kicked off today at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland.

“We’re celebrating our 20th year which is absolutely amazing,” says Dave Garske, president of Yoshida’s Sand in the City.

Twelve corporate teams are participating in this year’s competition. Each team donates money to participate. They are paired with design and/or architectural firms to help with their sculpture design and work for six and a half hours to finish their piece.

The annual event is a fundraiser that benefits children’s charities in the community. The event is 100% volunteer-run allowing 100% of the profits to go directly to the charities.

Team donations, sponsorships, and gate proceeds combine to raise about $120,000 each year for the children’s charities. “We do a pretty good job of making money to give back to the community,” says Garske with a smile.

This year, the Sand in the City board designated four charities that will receive funds: Community Transitional School, Communities for Safe Kids, Open Meadows School and White Shield Center. The total number of children who have benefitted from funds from this event to date is over one million children.

“We’re just having a great time,” says Garske. “We have 300 volunteers, about 350 sand carvers. It’s a great event where we come out and play in the sand and benefit the kids in the community.”

The event runs through Sunday, with a suggested entry donation of $4 per person/$10 for family. 

Kristyna Wentz-Graff


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