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Photo essay: BBQ, conviviality at OWN's annual Westside Neighbors Picnic

Picnic attendees line up for free food, including bratwursts, hotdogs and various sides.
Westside Pioneer photo
While attendance numbers were down a bit, a good time was had by most if not all at the 15th annual Westside Neighbors Picnic at the Westside Community Center July 18.
       Sponsored by the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the event - held under calm, sunny skies with temperatures in the 70s -attracted 100 or so people, according to estimates by President Welling Clark and board member/BBQ chef Terry Brunette.
       As always, OWN volunteers provided barbecued brats and hotdogs and provided lemonade, some side dishes and a live band, while businesses and individual donors pitched in with desserts and other sides. People ate at tables set up on a grassy area under trees in front of the Community Center cottages facing onto Bijou Street. The Tribe, an eclectic musical trio, performed.
       OWN is the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside. OWN promotes the picnic as part of its neighborhood outreach.
       Clark said he wasn't surprised at the smaller crowd because OWN no longer is printing a Westside community newsletter that can announce such things. In the past, aided by federal funding through the city, OWN was able to print and direct- mail a newsletter four times a year to about 8,000 Westside residences. But with the city now putting that funding elsewhere, OWN cannot afford that expense.
       But Clark was pleased with the positive response from those who attended. “We can build on this for next year,” he said.
       The picnic was spiced by the participation of numerous inviduals/entities involved in Westside activities. These included representatives from Fire Station 3, the Colorado Springs Police Department's Gold Hill Station, the Bear Creek Nature Center, Colorado Springs Utilities, the Old Colorado City Library, City Code Enforcement and the Police Department's CAPS (Community Advancing Public Safety) and cadet programs.
       Photos from the picnic appear at above left and below.
A wide-angle photo shows the Westside Neighbors Picnic setting in the grassy area along the 1600 block of Bijou Street. At the far right, under a tent cover, is Tribe, the musical trio that performed.
LEFT: Jamie Bequette, supervisor of the Bear Creek Nature Center, explains to two young picnic attendees the positioning of deer antlers. RIGHT: Rafael Cintron (left), the commander of the Gold Hill Police Station that serves the Westside, speaks to the crowd during a music break after being introduced by OWN President Welling Clark.
LEFT: Parker Rosenquist (left), a volunteer with the Police Department's CAPS (Community Advancing Public Safety) program, manned an informational table at the picnic with the help of Jonathan Jerry (middle) and Orlandis Gaymon of the police Explorer (Cadets) program that trains teens about the criminal justice system. RIGHT: Terry Brunette, who manned the barbecue for the event, provides reassurance by eating his own cooking.
LEFT: Another shot of the food line. RIGHT: Tribe, the band that performed for the diners, consisted of guitarist John Wise (left) drummer Teddy Nazario and keyboardist Jana Lee Ross. This is the fifth straight year Wise and other musicians have played at the picnic.
Picnic diners listen to a brief presentation during a break in the music. The presentations, organized by OWN, introduced people to different community organizations and opportunities.
LEFT: After the picnic, OWN volunteers break down the tent that the band had played under. RIGHT: Representatives of Fire Station 3 introduce themselves. From right are Lt. John Schreiber, firefighter/paramedic Rachael Staebell, firefighter John Hussey and driver/engineer Keith Vetter.

Westside Pioneer article and photos
(Posted 7/18/15; Community: Neighborhoods)

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