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Brentwood-Darlington "Night Out" features big barbecue

DAVID F. ASHTON - Volunteer grill chef Tami Cheng keeps hot dogs and hamburgers coming for the hungry neighbors present for this years National Night Out party in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.The Brentwood-Darlington Community Center was alive with activity, the sound of children’s laughter, and the smell of grilling hamburgers and hot dogs, on the evening of Saturday, August 8.

“We’re celebrating ‘National Night Out Against Crime’ with a community dinner,” explained Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) Chair Eric Wikoff.

“It’s where neighbors can meet one another, learn about local businesses, and find out more about our all-volunteer neighborhood association,” Wikoff told THE BEE.

BDNA provided the burgers, sausages, and soft drinks; “Cartlandia” on S.E. 82nd contributed salads; and Voodoo Donuts brought lots of their trademark pink boxes filled with treats. And many neighbors toted in side dishes and desserts to share.

“Portland Nursery donated plants for a raffle,” Wikoff said, “And, we have representatives here from our Brentwood Darlington Farm Stand, a collaboration between the neighborhood and the Learning Gardens Lab.”

While kids played games in the park just outside the community center’s back fence, adults talked, browsed the raffles, brought and took items from the “free swap” area, and met local businesspeople.

“It’s worth the effort,” Wikoff reflected, “because this is a collaborative, roots-driven method to help people get to know one another, and create a good small-business environment where people want to come and enjoy our goods and services they can't find anywhere else.”

Great results can come from this kind of collaboration, he added. “When you know your neighbors, on a first name basis, it creates a better living environment. That’s what were striving for here in Brentwood-Darlington.”

Learn more about BDNA online: brentwooddarlington.wordpress.com