Have some fun and support the community

Published 9:29 pm Monday, November 16, 2009

One of the wonderful things about a place like Suffolk is the large variety of community events and opportunities available to residents on any given weekend.

From church bazaars to Ruritan feeds, from open houses to haunted houses, from potluck dinners to peanut pie sales, the many events that take place in Suffolk during the course of a year give residents a variety of choices for inexpensive entertainment and help raise funds for worthwhile local causes.

Many of those events have become part of the fabric of their communities — think Chuckatuck’s fish fry, or Eclipse’s 4th of July celebration or Constant’s Wharf’s TGIF parties. They are the modern, secular equivalent of the old church socials and barn-raisings, where residents of the community got together for fellowship, to help out their neighbors, to engage in a bit of politics and to swap a bit of gossip, all while blowing off a little steam.

Considering America’s increasingly self-centered culture and the propensity of people of all ages to spend their time in solitary pursuits in front of computer or video screens, it is heartening to see how popular such community events continue to be. There remains a significant percentage of people for whom it is important to support community organizations — and, by extension, their neighbors — and to get to know other folks who call their community home.

With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays just around the corner, there will be more and more of these community events. At the same time, most folks face an increasing number of commitments to attend family, workplace and church parties, so there will be considerable opportunity for feeling overwhelmed an unable to participate in the community-building events.

But try to find some time to do so. You’ll be helping some people who need it, you’ll be getting to know your neighbors, and you might even come home with a delicious peanut pie.