After a hiatus of two years our block watch community finally had a chance to get together and have our annual Block Watch BBQ. Everyone that is part of the block watch group is welcomed to participate. This event is usually planned to take place every year but due to the covid pandemic it had been put on hold until it was safer to gather. Needless to say there was a lot of pent up energy in the group to get together to chat, to discuss what was happening in the neighbourhood and to welcome the new families that have moved in over the last two years or so. It was genuinely pleasing to see and hear everyone getting together again socialising after so long.
The gathering was organised by myself, the block watch captain and my two co-captains and some great support from our neighbours. We got together a few times for planning to determine when the BBQ would happen, where it would be held and what supplies would have to be purchased or supplied by the group. Once we had that it place it was just a matter of implementing the plan. A newsletter was sent out to the whole block watch neighbourhood to inform everyone about the BBQ, with a request that they reply if they plan to attend and if so how many would be in their party. Phone calls were made to our previous supporting neighbours to see if they once again would lend us their BBQ’s, tables, chairs, canopies and many other items. About three days prior to the BBQ, members of the block watch that hadn’t replied to the newsletter were contacted directly to see whether they were attending or not. Now that we had a fairly accurate number as to how many people would be attending we were able to finalise the grocery list and go shopping the day before the BBQ. This is where the Neighbourhood Small Grants came into play. With the grant money that was given to us we were able to purchase the hamburgers, hot dogs, smokies, buns and all the rest of the main food items and condiments that go with a BBQ. We also asked everyone that attended ,if possible, to bring a food item that could be shared amongst the group. I can safely say that no one left the party hungry.
Because of the small grant that we received we were able to hold this BBQ without having to place a charge on the members to help cover the costs. In these times when we have high inflation and young families and the elderly on fixed incomes are having a hard time making ends meet, I believe the grant allowed us to have a better turn out than if we hadn’t received it. It allowed us as neighbours and friends to gather again after 2 1/2 long years of not so great times to be a community again.
From the comments that I and the co-captains received the BBQ was a great success. Everyone was just thankful that we could do this again and are looking forward to doing it again next year!