Highland Gardens Civic Association, Inc
Neighbors Helping Neighbors"

Our First Meeting

On March 14, 2007, the Highland Gardens Civic Association gathered for the first time. I think we all were a little aprehensive...would anyone show up? When I arrived, the room had a number of people milling around, talking, and enjoying the refreshments. Jack, our Sgt. at arms, was sitting at the sign-in table, greeting people as they entered, with a smile a mile wide. There was a colorful raffle box sitting there to catch your attention in case you wanted to take a chance. On the table also, along with the sign-in sheet, were applications to join as well as informative flyers for neighborhood and city functions.

Derek, our president, called the meeting to order, and after the pledge he welcomed everyone, made the introductions of the board members and special guests. He asked Cynthia, our guest speaker, to come forward and make her presentation. There were a few questions for her, and Derek asked that they be held till the end of the meeting. Realizing that he had not given our other "special" people a chance to speak, he did so at this time.

We had ask that everyone be brief when speaking because we wanted a chance to socialize a bit before going home. Commissioner Furr, Sharon Paxton, and Officer Switter all spoke about their particular departments and how they could help us. They congratulated us on the organization and offered any help we might need from them. Commissioner Furr had to leave early as he was first base coach for his little daughter's game that night. But Sharon and Officer Switter stayed to answer questions.

In addition to these special people, we also had two visiting presidents from other associations. Ken Crawford from Parkside Association and Scott Gurdak from Royal Poinciana Association. They didn't speak that night as they were there to support and encourage us by their presence. They both told us they would be glad to help in any way they could.

We had our raffle drawing, and the money was donated back to the pot, which made Jack's smile even bigger. There were two more drawings for door prizes.

Derek then turned the meeting over to Chris for a report on the committees we wanted to form. Our first two committees will be membership and beautification. After Chris talked about those and encouraged people to join at least one of them, she turned the meeting over to me and I explained our "neighbors helping neighbors" idea. I brought a bag of baby clothes and asked if anyone knew of a mother-to-be or a new mom that might need them. One of the visitors raised her hand, and I gave them to her. Then Sharon Paxton said she had a sewing machine that had belonged to her mom, and she was offering it to anyone who might need it. Sure enough, someone raised their hand. And that's the way it works.

All in all, I think our first meeting was a great success!! We had from 26-28 people in attendance, and 3 or 4 filled out the application to join us that night. I would say we're on our way.

By Shirley Stealey