By Derrick Muska, BHCA President
We refuse to let COVID-19 slow our roll at the BHCA! Although we may not be holding our regular events and meetings, all this craziness has opened new ways to serve our community and stay connected.
Have you been walking around singing Don’t Stand So Close to Me by The Police? Are you now a Master of Zoom even though you never wanted to be? If so, join the club. Our community Zoom meetings have been zooming along and going strong. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed the Historical Society of Long Beach, the League of Women Voters, and the new director of Parks, Recreation, and Marine. Also, we’ve toasted each other through our Libations Society trivia nights; we’ve welcomed Fremont’s new principal to the neighborhood and have given a few pointers to high school kids applying for college during crazy COVID. If you would like to join us for future events, please subscribe to our emails at MyBelmontHeights.org.
The BHCA is happy to announce we’ll be holding a monthly “drive-thru” food and school supply drive moving forward. How much easier can we make it for you? You can help without even getting out of your car! All future donation drives will occur on the last Saturday of every month. Drop-off location and times for these events will be posted on MyBelmontHeights.org.
Are you wondering where your food and school supply donations go? Did you know that LBUSD provides educational services to over 3,000 homeless students? All your school supplies donations will go locally to the Bethune Transitional Center. This foundation is operated through LBUSD to serve and support school children who are homeless. During the past two events, all the nonperishable food and hygiene donations were given to Century Villages at Cabrillo and DAYS Long Beach to mitigate food insecurity in our community. If you have a donation idea or recommendation, please let me know at president@MyBelmontHeights.org.
The BHCA traditionally holds “Goblins on the Greenbelt” every October. Not this year. Boo! While we could not celebrate Halloween in quite the same way, the BHCA held a pumpkin carving contest for kids and adults instead. All kids who participated received a free Halloween cookie from Scratch Baked Goods. Also, gift card prizes from local small businesses were awarded to residents who brought their extra spooky spirit to this event. If you missed out on this Fall event, never fear. You can harness your inner Holiday Griswald spirit and join us for some upcoming Winter contests. Read more about the contests in this edition.
In August, we lost our neighbor and friend, John Kemmler, to COVID-19. John was a unique soul with an enormous heart, and he cared so deeply about our community. In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll read a little more about John’s impact on our neighborhood. You might not have known him personally, but you probably benefited from his actions. On behalf of the BHCA board, we keep the Kemmler family in our thoughts, and John will be greatly missed.
Finally, I wanted to give a big BHCA thank you to Christine Beaur-Mortezaie and Dianne Sundstrom. They have been an essential part of the BHCA, the newsletter, and our community for years. As far back as I can remember, they’ve headed up our advertising efforts, helping us win 1st Place in the 2019 Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) for best neighborhood newsletter in print format. On behalf of the BHCA board and our community, we are genuinely grateful for all Dianne and Christine have accomplished over the years to help grow our community. All future advertisements will be lead by board member, Julie Folcik.