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"Night Out" unites Westmoreland neighbors against crime

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Scott Cushman, Kevin Sharp, and Michael Squire revealed they'd just met, but decided to play music at the block party. It sounded like a polished band, and they expect to keep playing together. 'Funky Chick Lovers' is the band name they€'re considering. The big water slide in the background was especially popular after the day's 102-degree heat.Even in a friendly neighborhood, amid pressures of modern life, residents often haven’t met the folks next door – much less likely, those who live down the block.

In an effort to bring their neighbors together, co-Block-Captains Jim Sharp and Wendy Cushman decided to hold a “National Night Out Against Crime” block party along S.E. 21st Avenue, south of Bybee Boulevard, on the very hot evening of Saturday, August 4.

A potluck dinner and barbecue, games for kids and adults, a great very local rock band, and a kids’ inflatable water slide were the main attractions as darkness fell after a record-setting 102-degree summer day.

“It’s our first-ever block party,” remarked Jim Sharp. “We’ve had police officers and firefighters come by, and we’ve had the opportunity to share information about neighborhood safety.”

Having lived on the block for about 12 years, Sharp said, “We realized we really haven’t met our neighbors. Through this event, we’re discovering all the things we have in common. The more camaraderie and the more interests we have in common, the more opportunity to bond.”

The well-attended public event was the result of passing out about 30 flyers to the nearby residents, Sharp commented. “And, we have some people coming from outside our block. Our aim was for our kids to have fun, and for us all to meet.”

With this delightful an outcome, it’s likely the “Night Out” block party will become an annual event, Sharp smiled.