Friday, December 4, 2009

Hawthorne Huddle Celebrates Neighborhood Achievements!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, video by a Hawthorne neighbor

On Thursday, December 3rd, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council celebrated many achievements in our community at the Hawthorne Huddle, sponsored by the General Mills Foundation. Every first Thursday of the month, community leaders and residents gather at Farview Park at the crack of dawn (7:30, to be precise). A continental breakfast is served (catered by the Sunnyside Deli), and we get to hear about and discuss what many of our partners are doing in and around Hawthorne.

But once a year, we roll out the red carpet...

At the end of the year, a full break fast, including omelets, sausage, and hash browns, is served. Neighborhood partners, many of whom receive support from the General Mills Foundation, share their successes from the past year and their goals for the next.

The video above is of yours truly, Hawkman alter-ego Jeff Skrenes, discussing some of the many accomplishments of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council over the past year. My normal camera was out of juice, but luckily I carry a Blackberry in my utility belt, and used the video feature there for the first time.

In case folks don't watch the full video, I want to repeat my closing remarks: What we have accomplished would not have been possible without the vision and resolve of our residents, as well as the support of many of our partners in the room. So I sincerely thank all of you for making our neighborhood a success.

Also, I should point out that I specifically had the South Hawthorne Community Garden in my notes to talk about how great that and our residents who made it happen are. As SOON as I was done, I realized I'd forgotten to bring that up. I started thinking to myself, "Please, PLEASE let one of our neighbors bring this up," and sure enough Carey Joe Howell did. In some ways it's more appropriate that a resident brought up the garden, since the work was driven much more by the community itself than Hawthorne staff.

Paul Yeager from Farview Park also spoke about how the sports teams for our park fill up faster than those at other north and northeast parks. Obviously working with kids presents a special sort of challenge, but it's also incredibly rewarding and Paul is a tremendous asset to our community. He finished his remarks by saying to General Mills and the community, "Thank you for making my job fun." No, Paul, THANK YOU for what you give to our community.

Ellen Luger of General Mills made sure that the first people to present their accomplishments for 2009 were local youth who worked on a "Visuals in Peace" project. These were youth whose lives were touched by gang and other youth violence and got together to do what they could to counter that. They were inspired by Desmond Tutu last year and worked with many institutions to put up the banners we see along West Broadway.

I have heard both positive and negative things about how those banners look. But I think we can all agree that the spirit and collaboration behind those banners is exactly what our community needs. This is especially true knowing that the project was driven by our own youth.

So from Jeff Skrenes, the Hawthorne Neighborhood Council, and the johnnynorthside blog, a sincere thank you goes out to the General Mills Foundation, our community partners and our strong and committed residents for all that you have do for Hawthorne and NoMi!

1 comment:

Johnny Northside said...

Yeah, and where did you STEAL that Blackberry?

Kidding. Just kidding.