Sunday, September 9, 2012

Picnic Report: Rain Couldn't Stop the Party!

I think we can unequivocally say that despite the best efforts of the weather sprites, the Autumn Walk Picnic was a success -- and it was a true community effort!

The theme of the day became "adapt and have fun," and the result was great food, great fellowship, and late-night kibitzing (yes, in the rain) long after the party formally ended. The proof is in the pictures on the Autumn Walk Facebook page.

Early in the afternoon, the high winds shredded the canopy we tried to put up even as the forecast called for heavy rain. But a "Plan B" was developed on the fly and the residents of the corner of the cul-de-sac opened their garages to get us under cover, and we were on!

By the numbers:
  • 28 of 45 houses were present.
  • Roughly 50 adults and 25 children were able to attend at least part of the picnic.
  • Fully a quarter of the houses in Autumn Walk actively participated in the planning and organization of the picnic, or stepped up at the last minute when plans changed on the fly.
  • Everyone brought something to the potluck (with massive amounts left over), and both Dr. & Mrs. Kim (9851) and CAS (our management company) donated $50 even though they couldn't be there.
  • Donated prizes included three $15 iTunes gift cards (door prizes), cupcakes (kids' cakewalk), and blow-up globes for the kids. Door prize winners were Adrienne (9846), Callie (9831), and Jenny (9847).*
  • Because of the many contributions we will be returning $100 to the Autumn Walk treasury for future events, meaning the event cost the HOA a grand total of $50.
  • A memorable sight for me was to see a half dozen kids splashing happily in a large puddle, proving that sometimes the greatest pleasures are the simplest.

So many people contributed that it's impossible to acknowledge everyone, but special thanks must go out to:

1. The organizing committee: 
  • Bindu (9811)
  • Carlo (9821)
  • Sam & Daphna (9834)
  • Adrienne (9846)
  • Jenny (9847)
  • Fred (9854)
...particularly the lead buyer (Bindu and her husband Dharmesh), the "IT and DJ guy" (Sam), the equipment manager (Adrienne), and the children's games coordinator (Jenny and her daughter Sammy).

2. The grillmasters (who got drenched as the rains started just as they fired up the grills):
  • Dharmesh (9811) - veggie burgers
  • Randy (9858) - burgers and dogs (grilling from his deck)
  • Kennedy (9862) - burgers and dogs (grilling from his deck)
  • Charles (9852) also brought his grill to do the final batches so Carlo wouldn't need to truck his down the street

3. The last-minute garage hosts:
  • Fred (9854)
  • Randy & Kelly (9858)
  • Alice (9860)
  • Kennedy & Megan (9862)

4. Photographers who spent so much of their socializing time documenting the event instead:
  • Amy (9806)
  • Jamie (9848)

5. Even though the rains prevented us from playing, Joe and Allie (9832) brought their cornhole games in addition to Texas caviar and coolers filled with ice 

6. An army of folks helped with set-up and especially clean up, which is usually the least fun part of the job.

Hopefully we will have many more opportunities to meet each other. Join the conversation on our Facebook page, and if you have ideas for some fun events, please bring them up there or contact us!

The bonds established at the picnic are a first small step to becoming a true community, and not just an accidental collection of houses.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks once again for a job well done!

* No, the door prize drawings weren't rigged, unless someone managed to corrupt the 4-year-olds pulling the entries from the bowl. The fact that so many committee members won was a function of the fact that so many households were involved in organizing the event! 

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