When people care about each other, work together, help each other out, that’s a win. When people come together, build on old friendships and make new ones, that’s a win. When the rain passes you by at a big outdoor event like Neighborhood Night Out, but it comes back later in the evening to bless the earth overnight, that’s a win.
We had lots of winners at the Southern Gables Neighborhood Night Out last Friday at the schoolyard. Kids tossed beanbags or played fun little games of all kinds for prizes, some of our neighborhood business supporters got to show off their wares or tell people about what they do, and lots of people scored a free hotdog or two: good portable food for sitting down and visiting or for walking around the booths. Neighbors greeted and chatted with each other. Magill’s gave out hundreds of servings of their famous ice cream, and kids got their faces painted and took turns jumping around in the big bouncy house provided by our neighbor Westwoods Community Church.
The preparation and work to make it happen started out back in February, when we went out and called on local businesses to sign up for our “tote bags” and join in the Night Out with booths and displays. Then as the date approached we got volunteers lined up from our Association Board, the Westwoods Church, other neighbors, and friends of friends. (You might have noticed that all those tables and hundreds of chairs didn’t just grow there.) We sent people out to shop for the food items, get the raffle prizes, and at the last minute bring in ice for the drinks and start grilling the hot dogs. Some of the lines were long at times, and neighbors took that time to socialize too. People pitched in and worked together, and some new friendships were started in working together. That’s a win. Board member Ken Fischer remarked, “We were particularly surprised and appreciated many folks who made the reload of tables and chairs go quite well.”
Here are some pictures from around the grounds – who do you know? (Click, click, esc.)
Among the winners were the recipients of the raffle prizes. When we announced the big drawing, some neighbors rushed up to ask where they were supposed to buy tickets. “What, free? The ticket I got when I came in? OK, i got it. Free, huh?” The DJ, whose name was AJ, called out the winning numbers and the little crowd of kids pushing in close with calls of “Pick me! Pick me!” had to be informed of the proper protocol. After a little stir of the 700 or so tickets in the box for each draw of the numbers, and the winners were revealed…
We heard a good wrap-up of the evening from Ken Fischer: “In this turbulent time, it was especially nice to visit with folks in a good mood, listening to good music and enjoying great dogs and ice cream.”
Yes it was.