In the age of social media, Mayor Gary Resnick wants more residents to participate in old-fashioned face to face social networking.
To that end, the mayor announced a potluck event “so neighbors can meet each other again.” It’s scheduled for Thursday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Coral Gardens Park, Northeast 27 Drive and Coral Gardens Drive, in the eastern portion of the city. Resnick said organizing the event was the fulfillment of a promise he said he made during his re-election campaign.
Resnick asked those who attend to bring food and to leave their smartphones. He added that there will also be games, activities and refreshments.
City Manager Leigh Ann Henderson said the first “neighborhood block party” will serve as a test and that the city hopes to do one every couple of months. “We’re looking for neighbors who want to host one,” said Henderson.
That desire for face to face social interaction isn’t only shared by the mayor.
The Circle of Friends is a group formed last year by residents Janice Fromal and Benjamin Little. But while the group is filled with members who want face to face socialization, Little said the members don’t really think about the reasons why. It’s just something they do.
“We’re an older group and I’m not sure how much any of us are really happy using social media. This is an older crowd. We’re all over 60. I don’t think social media enters into our thinking at all.”
The group meets the second Wednesday of each month from 4 to 6 p.m., usually at Hagen Park, and does a different activity each time. On April 12, members will be meeting in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea for dinner. Those interested must sign up before the event. The last event scheduled so far is on July 12.
“We’ve had card games. We’ve had board games. We’ve had bingo. We’ve had somebody come and talk to us about the challenges of exercise [at an older age],” Little said. “We get together as a group and have a good time.”
For more information on hosting a city block party, call 954-390-2120. To sign up for the Circle of Friends April dinner, call 954 390-2130.