For the past seven years, I’ve been volunteering with Neighborhood Services in Manassas on their community projects. Why? Because they’re fun. You get dirty hauling tires out of a creek, you work side by side to encourage residents to take responsibility for their hazardous waste and recycling and help clean up their neighborhood or you clear plots for a community garden and come back two months later and see people sitting in their lawn chairs among growing vegetables, sharing stories and showing off a stamp collection. It’s fun — 1 By Youth, Big Day of Serving, Neighborhood Conference, National Night Out Against Crime, road trips to the Virginia State Neighborhood Conference and the National NUSA Conferences.
The ONE TIME I’m too busy to volunteer and they have a gigantic free-for-all, spraying colored cornstarch all over each other on the streets, all in the name of raising money for summer learning.
It happened last Saturday, Sept. 13. More than 4,000 people of all ages and abilities lined up to walk, run and get sprayed with color. I heard later the City of Manassas ColorVibe 5K was a huge success, raising more than $4,000 for Manassas City Public Schools’ summer enrichment programs.
The photographs taken by professional photographer Linda Hughes were outstanding. They were all over Facebook, along with eerie, glowing shots of streets or streams colorized for a brief time by the cornstarch and biodegradable coloring. (Here’s a shot by Victor Rook)
There was a block party complete with music and dancing as racers crossed the finish line.
When people ask at these state or national neighborhood conferences, “what builds community?” The answer is, wonderful events like this that allow people to have fun and raise money for a good cause — summer learning for kids. Thanks, City of Manassas Neighborhood Services.