By MIKE FERGUSON
Of the Baker City Herald
Baseball, hot dogs and apple pie will be at the heart of Leo Adler Day, a free community celebration set for the evening of Thursday, June 21.
The event will commemorate the legacy and birth of Baker City philanthropist and community leader Leo Adler and celebrate the accomplishments that were assisted by his contributions, said one of the events organizers, Bob Evans.
The celebration begins at 5 p.m. with a free hot dog feed at Geiser Pollman Park. The Baker Fire Department and Lions Club will be serving. Organizers plan to feed only one thousand celebrants, so its first come, first served, Evans said.
Food for the event will be both donated by area stores and purchased with contributions from many of the organizations that have received financial support from Adler funds.
At 6 p.m., the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway will be dedicated with a brief ceremony at the bridge between the park and the Baker County Public Library.
Following the dedication and the snapping of a community picture, those who wish will walk, stroll, roll, run and ride along the pathway to the Baker Sports Complex. There four games involving youth baseball and softball teams will be in progress. Church groups will provide apple pie during the games.
If enough contributions are collected in the coming days, the evening will be capped at sunset with a brief fireworks display near the Sports Complex.
To help celebrate what would have been Adlers 106th birthday, the Oregon Trail Regional Museum and the Adler House Museum will not charge admission June 21.
The museum will be open from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. June 21 only. The Adler House will be open that day from 1 p.m. through 5 p.m.
We envision dedicating the day to Leo, philanthropy and the community spirit he embodied that makes this a special place to live, Evans said. It will be a day for citizens to reflect on what dreams and service to community can do for the good of all. It also just so happens that Leo was born on the first day of summer, so we will be celebrating that, too, as small-town Americans might do, with baseball, hot dogs and apple pie.
Adler, an avid supporter of youth sports, service groups and community activities, began selling magazines door-to-door at age 9 with his dog Prince. His boyhood endeavor and enterprise grew to empire and fortune, which he generously used to support his hometown.
He died in 1993 at the age of 98, leaving his fortune to the community through the Leo Adler Community Foundation and a college scholarship fund.