Eagle Point Community Association’s secretary, Suzi Collins seems like a happy definition of human perpetual motion. “The main purpose of the association is to promote community spirit, and enhance quality of life for citizens of Eagle Point,” she quoted. Along with EPCA’’s President, Bunny Lincoln, Vice President, Leon Sherman, and Treasurer Phyl Pugh, Collins and the membership meet at 7 p.m., every third Thursday at the Ashpole Center next to City Hall. All unpaid volunteers, the aforementioned slate of officers received nominations for their positions, and “yea” or “nay” votes affirming the membership’s choices.
Collins wished to emphasize a little-known fact: “The EPCA is not an arm of our city’s government.” She observed that often people phone city hall requesting information regarding programs entirely in the purview of the association. “We exist because the City of Eagle Point simply doesn’t have the enormous budget, or the staff to invest in everything we do.” She adds that she has done this work during the last seven years strictly for the fun she derives from it.
Collins further expresses awe when discussing the golden-hearted generosity of Eagle Point’s residents. “I marvel at how reliable the community is about supplying donations,” she says.
Before “Christmas Around Town” takes place, the first Saturday in December, we send out the word that each child will receive a stuffed animal from the jolly, red-clad elf in person. Soon, donations of stuffed toy animals pour in; enough for every youngster in attandance to pick and keep a favorite. The EPCA also buys banners, lights, and decorations to adorn the town, and sponsors the tree lighting ceremony.
Likewise, the Saturday before Easter, in the soccer park, the association stages special activities, games, prizes, and plastic egg-hunts. By the festivities’ completion, one stuffed animal goes home with each child. “Last Easter, we spent $1,000 on Easter candy,” she continued. “Preparation for the event took countless work hours, but was over within three minutes of starting. Yet, it was worth it, just to see the kiddies having so much fun.”
Currently, the EPCA team’s work in progress involves their biggest fundraiser–the Dessert Auction at EP High School. For this, they partner with Skills USA, a program headed by EPHS teacher Matt Boren. “They help so many students who don’t plan to pursue further formal education. These will learn life skills they’ll need after HS graduation,” Collins says.
Apart from EPCA programs, Collins also donates time to other worthy fund-raising causes. On Monday afternoons she serves as Bingo manager at Eagle Point Sr. Center.
Between projects, she devotes hours to crocheting caps for Providence Hospital’s newborns, veterans in VA’s SORCC, or Eagle Point’s Santa Shop.
Her topmost favorite, although the most difficult and exhausting effort is Eagle Point’s annual July 4th Parade. “If people ask to participate, whatever they want to do, we answer ‘Absolutely, yes,’ (unless it involves states of drastic disrobing.)”
The EPCA strongly welcomes new members, willing hands, and any donations of cash or items for the worthwhile programs they perform. Interested persons may phone Collins at 541-324-0099 or just drop in at a monthly meeting.