February 20, 2004


Building community at the Powerhouse

By Lynn Gaylord

Legislators and politicians are always trying to figure out how to build better communities. While there may not be any right answers, they would be well-advised to take some lessons from this energetic group of moms in Del Mar.

Since the beginning of the Cultural Arts Committee in 2000 and the completion of the Powerhouse, these committed parents and grandparents have filled the Powerhouse and the park with all kinds of exciting activities. Movie nights, bingo, drama workshops, musical concerts, summer picnics, luaus, holiday parties, marine exploration days, Native American Day, and much more.

The events are spread throughout the year with about one event a month. The responsibility for a particular event rests with one or two of the parents, each volunteering for at least one event throughout the year. They really have this organized right down to the lemonade and prizes.

It was so cute to pop into one of the children's committee meetings recently and see little children nestled in caring arms or playing on the floor while discussions went on. Perhaps it is that art of multi-tasking for which moms are known. "Should we plan for 250 at the summer luau? What was the steel drum band like at the end of summer picnic? Should we try BiograPlays at Thanksgiving and ask them to do a skit on Pilgrims? At Marine Exploration Day are they planning to bring the sharks again?"

Claire McGreal, the chairman of the children's committee and a grandmother of darling John Henry Lain, summarizes what the committee is all about, "The Committee plans and produces social events that are both fun and educational for children and their families. The ideas are presented by, discussed, and agreed upon by the parents. I merely act as a facilitator; reserving the Powerhouse, organizing volunteers, helping with publicity and liaising with the Foundation Board." No easy task, Claire. The Del Mar community thanks you!

For information on children's programs and/or if you would like to volunteer, please call the Del Mar Foundation at (858) 635-1363.