We were ready. The planning was over and now it was time for National Night Out!
The tables were set, the band was finishing their sound check and neighbors were beginning to arrive. Right on time, the fire truck from our local HFD Fire Station 16, pulled up. They said they were going to park in the middle of the street, blocking it. That sounded good to me. Just then they got a phone call ,”We have to make a quick run. We’ll be back!” Off they went, to work.
Meanwhile, the band started playing. Allen Oldies Band, all dressed in classic suits and ties playing from a neighbors’ front driveway and serenading folks as they walked down the street. They were great! The dance floor, aka. the driveway, was open and the children started to dance. The dancing wouldn’t end until the music did, well after dark.
Neighbors arrived from all over our 12 block neighborhood, adding their appetizer or sweet dish to the table, signing in, slapping on a nametag and grabbing a beverage. The party was off to a festive beginning as everyone began to talk with their friends and neighbors. And, the Fire Truck and firemen returned from Station 16.
We had well over 125 neighbors in attendance. One of the first to arrive was a gentleman who has lived in Richwood Place for 38 years. He talked about the changes to the neighborhood and said this was his “first neighborhood event!” He had received 2 invitations, so he had decided to come on out for the party. There was the couple who just moved in. They were excited to meet more of their neighbors and get a feel for the neighborhood. Of course, there were the familiar faces, the folks who support and come to every event and then there were the new faces, some young, some older. But, new. Lots of new smiling faces. And, kids! There were children everywhere. They were dancing, sneaking cookies from the food table, playing with giant blow-up hammers, running, walking and being held by their parents. They were happy to see each other.
This night was special. It is one that won’t soon be forgotten. And, it wouldn’t have happened without some very special folks that I’d like to take a moment to sincerely thank.
First, thank you to our hosts. For offering your part of the block…again! For grilling, helping to set everything up and cleaning up after the party. Thank you for offering a driveway stage and dance floor. And, to our hosts that were busy welcoming our newest resident. We thank you for always supporting our great neighborhood! Welcome to Richwood Place, little one.
Second, a huge “thank you” to our sponsors!!! Our neighbor and friend, Ash Rowell and Duff Beer and Wine Distribution provided all of the beer and wine. If you were there, you saw the variety of really great beers he provided for the event. This was awesome! Ash, you and Duff outdid yourself! Thank you!
Our invitations and banner would not have happened without two of our sponsors: Moustapha El-Hakam, Attorney at Law and REPRINT!, Your Local Printer. Thank you to Moustapha for designing the invitations, banner and street sign toppers. Our neighborhood printer, REPRINT!, located at the corner of S.Shepherd and 59, south of 59 printed everything for us. Craig Pritchard, at REPRINT!, was amazing to work with. They were fast and did everything right the first time. I thought the invites and banner looked amazing.
And a big thank you goes out to two Neighborhood Realtors for sponsoring the event: Cliff Helmcamp with Greenwood King and Jerry Blum with Heritage Texas. These two sponsorships were key to us being able to hire the Allen Oldies Band. And, that was such a huge part of making the night as fabulous as it was. The energy was great and the music was awesome! Thank you to Cliff Helmcamp and to Jerry Blum for your sponsorships of the event. The band rocked!
Thank you to all of the neighbors for coming to National Night Out 2011! It was a huge success. Please support our sponsors, as they were a big part of this event being as successful and fun as it was.
We will be following up with folks and asking them to join the civic association. Dues go toward events like this one, security, deed restriction enforcement, beautification projects, etc. You can join by clicking the above tab “Join Today!” Annual dues for 2011 are $25 per household, or you are welcome to donate more. Thank you for your support. We hope to see you around Richwood Place!
If you’ve walked or driven through the neighborhood in recent days, you’ve probably noticed it. It’s mostly in the public right-of-way, on city property. It’s on some business signs and doors. It’s on the phone metal boxes owned by at& t, on polls, signs, walls, etc. I hesitate to say it is everywhere, but it is. It’s everywhere. Graffiti.
I can hardly stand it. I’ve called the city countless times. The first step, calling 3-1-1. The city says that in order to prevent graffiti, you must abate graffiti within 24-48 hours. Currently, that is not happening. And, when graffiti is removed, nearby graffiti is ignored.
We are working on a new plan to solve this issue. Please read the below article from the city’s website. And, let the board know if you have any ideas to help us rid Richwood Place of graffiti.
Note: I intentionally left out specifics about the graffiti from this post including the word that is being used most that begins with the letter “r.” I’ve also been in contact with the HPD gang task force asking for their help as well.
Please review the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting by clicking the link below.
Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam, president, Richwood Place Civic Association
I hope you all are having a wonderful start to 2011. We held our first RPCA meeting of the year last night at Zoe’s Kitchen. We have many new Board members as well as Committee Members and Chairs who will be serving our neighborhood this year. Please see the minutes for more details. Thank you to Jennifer Baker for posting them to www.richwoodplace.org
I’d like to start by saying a special thank you to Laura Mullen and Larry Wood for their years of service to Richwood Place. We appreciate the many hours you have volunteered and served on the Board of RPCA. Thank you.
I’d also like to introduce myself for those of you who do not know me. My husband, Moustapha and I have lived in our house on Lexington for six years. We have four children; Bakri- age 5 1/2, Maddux- age 4, Trinity- age 2 and Leeland- 6 months. We have a very busy and full house! We have been active members of the civic association for 6 years. I’ve served as Vice President and most recently as Chair of the Deed Restrictions Committee. This is my first opportunity to serve as president. I am a full time mom who also works as a contemporary worship leader at my home church, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian in West University Place. I enjoy singing, songwriting, cooking and baking, blogging, yoga and travel. I feel very blessed to belong to this neighborhood and will endeavor to be a positive voice for Richwood Place. I promise to work diligently to address issues. Please call me or email me with any suggestions, concerns or ideas. I am looking forward to a great year.
During the meeting, we discussed our biggest concern as a neighborhood- crime and illegal activity. We believe that many of the problems we are facing are directly connected to the apartment complex- Houston Medical Apartments at 1901 Richmond. We are focused on this property and what we can do to clean this area up. The Security/Safety Committee has placed this as a high priority and it is their first action item of the year.
Please put the following number in your cell phone: 713-884-3131. This is HPD’s non-emergency line. Call them whenever you see any suspicious activity and report it. We will receive more police presence if we have more calls coming in. If it is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
I’d also like to ask you to call our District D Councilmember, Wanda Adams. Her office number is 832-393-3001. We are asking for her help and for the City of Houston’s help in dealing with the safety issues we are experiencing from the residents and guests of the 1901 Richmond Property.
Happy New Year!
President, Richwood Place Civic Association, 2011
Rebekah Maddux El-Hakam