More find way to community center this year for OWN’s annual picnic

       In its second year at the Westside Community Center, the 12th annual Westside Neighbors Picnic drew a larger crowd July 21 than in 2011.

During the Westside Neighbors PIcnic July 21 on the lawn outside the Westside Community Center, OWN President Welling Clark (left) presents a Spirit Award certificate to Ty Klikus, a contractor who helped lead a remodel/ addition on a 113-year-old Colorado Avenue building,
Westside Pioneer photo

       People even came early. Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) President Welling Clark said attendees were already lining up for the free barbecue 20 minutes before the event's official noon start. And when the grill was hot and everything ready to go, “we served over 100 people in the first 25 minutes,” he said.
       The picnic is sponsored annually by OWN, the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside.
       In the end, the totals indicated that more than 150 folks showed up with appetites. BBQ chef Terry Brunette (also an OWN board member) said he grilled 150 bratwursts and “at least” 160 hot dogs. The rule of thumb was that most people ate two pieces of meat.
       Attendees were entertained by a band led by area musician John Wise.
       The location was on a tree-shaded lawn in the part of the community center property that faces onto Bijou Street - a welcome spot with temperatures in the 90s.
       “It looked like everyone was having a good time,” Clark said.
       For its first 10 years, the picnic was held at Bancroft Park, but OWN moved it last year to show support for the center, which provides activities for the neighborhood, as well as to avoid the rental fee the city had charged for use of the park.
       OWN used the picnic to announce its eighth annual Spirit Awards. Five improved properties were recognized. In past years, the awards have been presented at a fall town hall meeting, but the OWN board decided this year that the picnic would get the word out to more people.

Attendees at the Westside Neighbors Picnic fill their plates with a bounty of edibles July 21. Many of the food items were donated by area businesses, with OWN board members doing the preparation.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The winners were:
  • Landscaping/Curb Appeal (Residential) - 1708 W. Pikes Peak Ave. The property is co-owned by architect Richard Mee, who self-contracted (with his brother Ron) on the construction of the Queen Anne-style house at that address starting about four years ago. Ron also lives in the house. The lush landscaping has been going in over the past couple of years.
  • Historic Preservation (Residential) - 726 W Cucharras St. Following historical guidelines, the exterior work by owner Sean Chambers included new paint, trim, roof, porch repairs and landscaping.
  • New Construction (Residential) - 2412 W. Dale St. The award recipients are Russ and Pam McComsey, although Pam credited local builder Larry Nicks for doing the bulk of the construction before selling them the house last year. She and Russ finished it, she said, putting in the landscaping and back yard. The couple had been living on the East Coast and moved back to this area (and into this house) “because our kids are here,” Pam said.
  • Remodeling/Addition (Residential) - 215 N. Chestnut St. The contractor was 3rd Generation Construction. OWN board member Chad White said he nominated the property “after seeing the variance they [3rd Generation] needed for adding interior stairs to the home to make the basement useable. At that time, I was able to see the home gutted and now that it is basically finished it was a total makeover. “
  • Remodeling/Addition (Commercial) - 724 W. Colorado Ave. A historic Edwardian-style home, built in 1899, it required partial gutting and rework of the back, which had consisted of “lean-tos,” according to Larry Vasterling, an investor in the project. Also, he said, a 1,200-square-foot addition was built. The project was headed by Ty Klikus of Peakside Enterprises. The house is in a commercial zone and could be used for either a residence or a business, Vasterling said.

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