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New site for Brentwood-Darlington 'National Night Out'

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Eli Kellett gets a Police Badge sticker from Portland Police District Officer Gill. As a result of what they learned in a visioning session earlier this year [reported in last May’s BEE], the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) Board put their efforts into creating a “National Night Out Against Crime” party on August 6 – in Brentwood Park.

“We ‘stepped up our game’ this year,” said BDNA Vice Chair Eric Wikoff. Last time, National Night Out was at our Community Center on S.E. 62nd Avenue, where we have our neighborhood association meetings.”

Holding a more robust event this year was important, Wikoff said, “because this is such a large neighborhood, and we learned we needed to provide the opportunity for people to get together and participate in community-building.”

Through public events and other activities, BDNA’s board hopes to increase neighbor participation in general, and add more members to the association's leadership, Wikoff added. “We have six active Board members that participated in the National Night Out.”

Also helping out were ten volunteers from Hope City Church who helped set up the party, and provided active games for kids.

The organizer, Aimee Owens, said she was recovering from a medical procedure and “I saw this as an opportunity to really get involved in the community. I don’t want to be lazy, sitting at home, so I jumped in to do whatever I can.”

Sometimes, Owens said, she felt a little overwhelmed by the task. “But now, seeing it coming together, I feel really cool. People are introducing themselves, learning more about their neighborhood, and having a good time.”

Portland Police officers and a Portland Fire & Rescue crew came by, answering questions and giving tours of their rigs. Visitors dined on hot dogs, salads, and desserts contributed to the potluck meal.