I have been involved in many Night to Unite events over the past several years. I really enjoy going out into the community each year- and that includes last year when the event was cut short by the infamous hail storm of August 5, 2013.
Building community has always been the main purpose of Night to Unite from my vantage point. It is a great opportunity for Eden Prairie residents to get together; whether it is to spend time with your long-time neighbor or to meet the new person on your block. I like to state that a safer, smarter, and more involved community is a better community. Another community benefit to this annual event is the food drive we have been conducting for the past few years on behalf of PROP. City volunteers stop by each block party to pick up the food items that neighborhoods have donated to our local food shelf.
For 2014, we had over 150 parties in Eden Prairie. I do not have the final numbers yet, but I believe this will set another record for registered parties as we continue to grow them each year. As is now customary, Police Chief Rob Reynolds, Fire Chief George Esbensen, and I drop by as many parties as we can before darkness sets in. We always enjoy the conversation that we have with our residents.
Below is an email the city received this morning from a resident that appreciated the city’s presence at her block party:
Not sure who I should send this to, so I picked the city council. I want to thank the city for participating in the neighbors night out program. Tonight our block received visits from the police department, a council member, a support member from the police department as well as 4 firefighters with the fantastic fire truck (31). The city was well represented by all of these folks, their professionalism as well as personalities. Made me proud to live in Eden Prairie (26 years) knowing we have the best people supporting and representing us!
I plan to be out there again in 2015- regardless of the weather conditions.