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Block party brings neighbors together

June 28, 2009

HAGERSTOWN -- The first Neighborhoods 1st Reynolds Avenue block party and yard sale got off to a slow, drizzly start Sunday, but as the sunshine began to show up mid-afternoon, so did the people.

"We're trying to keep our neighbors together," said Neighborhoods 1st organizer Laurel Kahn, a two-year resident of Reynolds Avenue, one of the residential streets bordering Virginia Avenue near Hagerstown's City Park.

Aware of other Neighborhoods 1st groups around Hagerstown, Kahn said she figured her neighborhood could support one, too.

"All that was needed was for someone to have the spark to get it started," Kahn said.

Throughout the afternoon Sunday, neighbors shared food, beverages, music and fun. The only things that required money were raffle tickets for a wide range of goods and services.

Live bands set up in Kahn's front yard. All of the groups and individuals donated their musical services to the effort.

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Children had games and face painting to keep them occupied, while others helped serve food all afternoon.

The centerpiece of the block party was a series of yard sales. Kahn urged her neighbors to clean out their closets and get rid of their rummage while meeting their neighbors.

Representatives of Hagerstown City Police and the Hagerstown Fire Department showed up for demonstrations and to exhibit equipment.

At 4 p.m., a K-9 demonstration by police drew a crowd of onlookers.

Despite the less-than-ideal weather, Kahn said she felt the purpose of getting neighbors together was achieved. She hopes there will be more similar events in the future.

A meeting to plan future activities and establish boundaries has been tentatively set for Monday, July 13, at 7 p.m. For the location of the meeting, contact Kahn at 1-301-305-6561.

-- Marlo Barnhart

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