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Neighbors celebrate with food, fellowship and fun at University Park gathering

Yemi line dancing Medium.jpeg
Posted at 8:54 PM, Jul 06, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — Neighbors in the University Park area in Colorado Springs got together for a night of food, fellowship, and fun Saturday. The community event was part of the city's 1,000 Neighborhood Gatherings Initiative.

There were food trucks, line dancing, corn hole,horseshoes, and a bike parade at the block party.

Debbie Menza and a group of her neighbors volunteered to put together the event. She said the goal is to help build a resilient community.

"The statistics show that if you know one neighbor, that you will not be lonely," Menza said. "The whole idea is to get neighbors together. Maybe after COVID people kind of stayed in their house but to just get people together and enjoy the beautiful place that we live."

Mayor Yemi Mobolade visited the party and joined in the line dancing. He pointed to studies showing that knowing as few as six of your neighbors can drastically improve mental well being.

"It's so good to be in this neighborhood when I look around this park and I'm seeing a lot of chatter and laughter and smiles this is what it's about," Mobolade said.

The US Surgeon General published a report last year detailing an epidemic of loneliness and isolation following the COVID pandemic.

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