Neighbors enjoy annual Bancroft picnic

       Dark clouds and occasional light rain may have kept the crowd total from rivaling last year's 300-plus, but the annual Westside Neighbors Picnic Aug. 1 handed out bratwursts and hotdogs to 200 or more people, was “well planned and executed” and served as a “very successful outreach event.”

Bill Crowley (at easel) drew a crowd while drawing free caricatures during the annual Westside Neighbors Picnic Aug. 1. Despite some rainfall, the event attracted an estimated crowd of 200 or more.
Westside Pioneer photo

       These were a few of the positives stated afterward by Organization of West-side Neighbors (OWN) President Welling Clark.
       OWN, the city-recognized advocacy group for the older Westside, puts on the two-hour event in Bancroft Park once a year to treat and meet local residents, share information and (as much as possible) make local leaders available.
       Attendees spread out on the park grass (at least until it got too wet) and listened to Floyd Frame's Midland Brass Band on the Bancroft stage. Many took advantage of the event's other free offerings, including face-painting, caricatures and a kids' “bounce house.”
       OWN board member Terry Brunette, with help from fellow member Bob Kliewer, grilled up a total of 375 brats and dogs, Brunette said afterward.
       A table inside the pavilion provided news about the Westside Community Center, which helped OWN sponsor the event, and Silver Key Senior Services.
       Westside principals Clay Gomez (West Middle School), Terry Martinez (West Elementary) and Manuel Ramsey (Bristol Elementary) answered school questions.

Picnic attendees stand in line for food under the Bancroft Park pavilion.
Westside Pioneer photo

Jill Eich of Colorful Creations face-paints Jasmine Lopez (a Bill Crowley caricature of her can also be seen.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Sallie Clark, county commissioner for District 3 (which includes the Westside), was also on hand, as well as Karen Cullen, campaigning as the Republican candidate for Statehouse District 18.
       Nearly all the picnic food was donated by area businesses. The excess was given to Sacred Heart Church to aid its efforts to feed the hungry.
       It had been planned to have children's games, but there was insufficient interest because of the iffy weather and so they had to be cancelled, said Dick Siever, director of the Westside Community Center.
       Welling Clark happily relayed picnic praise from Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) President Dave Munger, who told him “this was one of the best neighborhood functions he has seen; everyone was enjoying themselves.”

Westside Pioneer article