January 12, 2006
Section SOUTH TAMPA
outdoor gathering offers a twist on a typical association event.
BAY SOUTH - One civic association is going to unusual lengths to recruit members
and encourage current ones to attend its monthly meetings.
a poorly attended Gandy Civic Association meeting in December, members came up
with an idea: Discuss business while roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over a
week, the crackle of the fire and the waft of roasted marshmallows made the
neighborhood meeting seem more like camp for the residents gathered outside the
group's clubhouse, 4207 W. Oklahoma Ave.
outdoor event posed a few logistical problems, said John Starnes, association
why I brought my Mag-lite," Starnes said over the hum of traffic on nearby
West Shore Boulevard.
were used when the campfire glow wasn't enough.
they sat on lawn chairs under an oak tree canopy, some people covered their legs
with blankets to ward off the evening chill.
bored tonight, which is one of the reasons why I wanted to do this,"
25 people attended the meeting - about 10 more than usual.
people are here who haven't been for a while," said Mildred McFadden, a
Pearl Avenue resident who attends regularly. "We're liable to try anything
to attract new members."
Avenue resident Marilyn Adams said her neighbor Bob Hart, a longtime association
member, persuaded her to attend Monday night's meeting.
usually lazy because I don't come out," Adams said.
said it's hard to find time to attend: "It takes a little longer than I
this is a nice idea," she said.
association newcomer Jose Luis Torres, the outdoor meeting broke the monotony.
is less formal, he said. "You know whenever you do something structured,
people get bored. It's like church. This gives you more freedom to walk around,
grab a hot dog, pay attention or not pay attention."
Dulcinea Cuellar can be reached at (813) 835-2102.
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