september 19, 2003

DEL MAR TIMES

Building community - Del Mar Foundation style

By Lynn Gaylord

From sunrise to sunset last Sunday, there were hundreds of Del Marians down "taking back the beach" at Powerhouse Park. It was quite an energizing sight. A sight, I might add, that started at 6:30 a.m. with sign-ups for the first annual Powerhouse Paddleboard Race. All ages were encouraged and rewarded for their efforts with lots of great prizes.

There was a 6-mile race for 18 and over and a one-mile race for youngsters and teens. It was inspiring to see these couple hundred athletes take on the water and prove it can be done. Hooded sweatshirts emblazoned with "Powerhouse Paddle Race" were given to all participants. A huge thank you to the organizers of this event: Randy Turner, Scott Tinley, George Plsek, Chad Feiler, Darrell Swensen, and Pat Vergne.

Soon followed the Children's Committee activities with tattoos and face painting, surfing lessons, potato sack races, watermelon eating, sandcastle building, tug-o-war, bocce ball, volleyball, hula hooping, bubblegum blowing, and musical chairs. If that was not enough, a delicious BBQ was served up with lemon cakes for dessert prepared by Community Connections. Was the steel band great or what! To bring added pleasure, the Historical Society provided photos from years past.

A huge round of applause needs to go to Kit Wells, Sandi Weaver, Jennifer McDowell, and Claire McGreal for their tireless efforts in organizing this extraordinary day which was loved by all. A huge success by any standard!

As the sun headed west and little legs began to collapse, the adults got their turn to open a bottle of wine and enjoy the day to the sounds of Tim Flannery and Company.

His marvelous bluegrass sound was mellow and delightful. Adults could carry on conversations and just have a couple good laughs about the day. Jake's Del Mar provided scrumptious shrimp dinners with lemon pie in a picnic basket for those who ordered early and everyone had a chance to win raffle prizes.

A great day, a chance to get to know your neighbor, have fun with family and friends, it just doesn't get better than this. Again, thanks to all who helped make this day so wonderful. It's all about building a community. One picnic at a time.