By Gina Redican
This past year and a half has been a real challenge for everyone, including the BHCA. As an organization, our main goal has always been to bring the neighborhood together. We had to get creative in finding ways to do so while being socially distanced. It wasn’t easy, but it was rewarding to find new ways to engage with our neighborhood. Some may become traditions that we carry on.
In April, we celebrated Earth Day by hosting a Belmont Heights Clean Up event featuring guest speaker Joe Corso of Long Beach Organics. There was a great turn out and we collectively picked up over 60 pounds of trash within an hour. Everyone who participated received an ice cream sandwich. And prizes (gift certificates to Lacquered) were awarded for the biggest collectors and the person who picked up the grossest item.
In May, the Wilson High School music department put on a concert at the Recreation Park Bandshell. The BHCA contributed $250 to help cover the hefty permit fee in order to ensure the kids would have an opportunity to showcase their talents. Music and arts, as a sector, really struggled during the pandemic, and we were thrilled to have been able to support this wonderful event.
We celebrated the 4th of July with a 3rd of July Bike Ride through Belmont Heights. After meeting at Will Rogers Mini Park, we set out on a 5.5 mile bike tour through the neighborhood, stopping at Ma ’N Pa Grocery for Otter Pops and finishing up with a water balloon toss and launch for prizes.
The monthly Drive-Thru-Food-Drive, in partnership with the Belmont Heights United Methodist Church, continues to be a great success. In recent months, we have collected items for the WomenShelter of Long Beach, DAYS Long Beach, and Century Villages at Cabrillo. Every month another worthy cause is the recipient of the generosity of all our neighbors. THANK YOU for your contributions.
Now that we are able to again gather in person, the Board is working hard on planning events and activities that will bring us together and brighten everyone’s spirits. We LOVE input from the neighborhood. If you have an idea for an event you think would be fun and engaging, please contact us right away! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re excited to introduce a new Board member at large, Chuck Liddiard. Chuck is the founder of The Paratum Scholars, a not-for-profit that guides students through the college admissions process. When Will Cullen and I met with him, Chuck expressed how much Long Beach and Belmont Heights mean to him, and how he wants to engage a younger generation in being active participants in their community. When he’s not busy working or spending time with his family, Chuck loves volunteering. I know that with Chuck’s extensive knowledge of non-profit organizations, his enthusiasm, and his engaging personality, he is going to be a huge asset for the BHCA.