Residents in the Fairmount district enjoyed some relaxed summer fun on Friday at a Block Party thrown by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley (NWBRV) in honor of National NeighborWorks Week.
NeighborWorks America is a national program promoting community development and the annual event aims to mobilize volunteers at 250 nonprofit organizations across the country to create clean, safe neighborhoods, connect with families and celebrate local communities. The week long event started June 4and kicked off locally with at affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization projects in Providence and Burrillville.
The crew has forged alliances with members of other local non-profits and the Woonsocket Police Department to improve the area and on Friday, the product of their efforts was clear. Easy smiles shone on the faces of parents, chatting in English and Spanish while kids took shots at a basketball hoop and tossed footballs, and the younger children drew designs on the parking lot in chalk.
WOON 1240 DJ Victor Ramos spun tunes for crowd while Will Saadeh cooked up chicken and hot dogs, and other volunteers handed out balloons. Police Chief Carey mingled with the crowd, greeting many attendees by name.
Culinary students from Beacon Charter School sold stacks of baked goods including over-sized Rice Crispy treats and cookies for $1. The treats were whipped up by Awa Ndiaye and Nicholas Ramos in their free time after school and all proceeds were donated to NWBRV.
The organization recognized some recent graduates from the neighborhood including CCRI student Ondrea Robinson, who recently published a book about her struggles in overcoming autism. Living with Autism is available for $20 and can be purchased by contacting Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.