David Sheon says it’s a new day for the Petworth Community. These days, the member of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Ward 4D said he and his colleagues are more focused on people than on the trappings of office.
“We get $12,000 a year from the city, and the old ANC spent a lot of that money on an office,” Sheon said. “Well, the new ANC reevaluated that plan and came to the conclusion that wasn’t necessary. So, we used a storage closet instead. Now that money can go into grants and supporting organizations in the community.”
Artist Sierra Jackson provided free face painting to children – and some adults during Petworth’s “Community Fun Day” at Triangle Park. The Advisory Neighborhood Commission sponsored the event to bring residents closer and to solve community problems. (Photo by Taj Brayboy)
One of those “new” priorities is Community Fun Day, an annual event that brings local residents out for food, fun, and a chance to meet and greet their neighbors.
An inflated moonbounce house, food, face painting, health screenings from a local hospital, and a watermelon eating contest were among the activities set up in Triangle Park on Sept. 10 to bring out Petworth residents for the second annual Fun Day. The Fusion DDC band, which received a grant through the ANC, also performed as part of the day’s events.
“There’s a woman on my block that has lived there for over 15 years,” said Sheon. “Lately she’s been complaining about Pepco charging her for someone else’s bill, so I called them, and this wasn’t true. Come to find out she’s just getting older and is suffering from dementia. She lives alone, so I helped her get set up with all the assistance she can get from the government she needs, which she had no idea she could receive.”
Davion West, the eventual winner of the watermelon eating contest, chows down on his way to the title. (Photo by Taj Brayboy)
ANC Commissioner Nancy Roth said the event helps create unity to address problems when they occur. For example, Roth said, before she joined the commission, she started a protest to have the liquor license removed from a local strip club, the Macombo Lounge, for inappropriate flyers passed out every Sunday in association with the business.
The club and the community worked out their differences and the lounge was one of the major donors of the Community Fun Day, including providing the moon bounce for the children, Roth said.
“Usually the mediation process ends on bad terms, but that speaks for the community here in Petworth,” she said. “We are put on this planet to love our neighbor, and we all are neighbors.”
Keeping children active and engaged also was a focus of the event. Davion West, 10, was the winner of the watermelon eating contest. He and his mom were at a near-by market and a family friend informed them of event.
“I love watermelon, that’s why I won,” Davion said. “Today was so much fun, I even ran into some of the staff and my friends from my school down the street, Truesdell .”