People from various neighborhoods in Roanoke came together at the Jefferson Center Friday night for a special potluck dinner.
City leaders hosted the Annual City Neighborhoods’ Harvesting of the Fruits Potluck Dinner and Awards Celebration.
For Lansdowne resident Lita Harris, it was her first time coming to the event. Other members of her resident council persuaded her to attend, she said.
“I made a commitment to the people in my neighborhood to serve them and come up with better ideas that would help their future and their children,” Harris said.
One reason Harris and her neighbors attended was to discuss their community with city officials and voice residents’ needs. Organizers of the potluck said that’s one of the purposes behind the event.
“It’s the one time of year that they all come together, we all break bread together, and we recognize their efforts,” said Bob Clement, Roanoke neighborhood services coordinator.
People from neighborhoods all over the city attend the event, Clement said. As this year’s dinner and awards ceremony brought about 200 people together, he added, the event also encourages people to build relationships across neighborhoods.
“Once people start caring for one another in a community, they start looking out for one another in the community,” Clement said. “And as a result of that, it just makes it a great place to live.”
“We put our brains together every moment and every second of the day to make something happen, you know, some type of success happen for somebody’s child,” Harris said.
This is the 16th year the city held the potluck dinner, Clement said. As the event continues to expand and draw a bigger crowd, organizers hope to relocate it to a larger venue, such as the Berglund Center, he added.