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National Night Out

Top image: Unicia Buster and a young patron of the arts.

Did everyone enjoy the National Night Out this year?!

Church Hill Central Civic Association President Jennifer Parham and others enjoying making some mega bubbles.

This was my first time attending National Night Out in the East End, and I was thrilled to see so many organizations represented and the sea of smiling neighbors from all across the community. Neighbors from Fairmount mingling with those from Union Hill, residents from all over enjoying snow cones, face painting, and some fantastic music! I was lucky enough to spend a few minutes with some of our lovely residents from the Church Hill House who were playing some high stakes bingo, as well as stop in at The Neighborhood Scoop’s truck for some delicious soft serve – a free chocolate-vanilla twist in a sugar cone is hard to beat!

But more than that, it was heartening to see everyone together, having a great time even in the heat. There was such unbridled happiness there, as people who operate local businesses grinned and waved at the people they know from our community; as neighbors laughed with each other as they strolled past the tents full of information and games, free clothes and free books. We had opportunities there for residents to pick up a free set of clothing from Richmond’s Junior League, to meet the new manager for the Market at 25th, to talk with planners from the Richmond 300, or even bend Cynthia Newbille’s ear. And the overwhelming amount of supplies for kids attending our local schools! No matter your stance on the challenges that RPS faces, the stacks of free backpacks filled with supplies for the upcoming year proves that this community is dedicated to its young people’s education.

My hat’s off to the New Visions Civic Association for spearheading the event again this year, and it was lovely to see everyone who volunteered, whether in an official role or even just picking up some pieces of trash as they enjoyed their night. Our thanks also goes to Bon Secours for allowing us all to gather in their park, and giving us the space for an evening of fun and community building. I was glad to represent the East End Branch Library (as I always am) and be able to spend an evening with all of you. What did you think of the event?

How can you beat free ice cream on a hot day?!

There were not one but TWO bouncy houses! 

The organizers of the whole show! Mary Thompson and Joshua Champagne enjoying the fruits of their hard work.

More book bags and supplies than you can fit in a tent for the East End’s students.

It would hardly be a National Night Out without the train rides on Nine Mile Road!

Did you know that there are robotics champions in our area? 

You know it’s a big event if there are not one, not two, but FIVE clowns in one location (and a young lady who looks a little skeptical about so many clowns in one place). 

*All images courtesy of Joshua Champagne


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