Liz Royer connecting neighbors for Night Out in Cooper-Young
The last two years have been bittersweet for Cooper-Young Community Association leadership. While several board members who had contributed years of service and countless hours to the association and to its members chose to take a break from their duties to focus on other aspects of their lives, this has made room for fresh faces and fresh ideas to step in and invigorate the neighborhood association.
The CYCA is happy to announce that one such fresh face is that of Liz Royer, our new chairperson for the CYCA Block Club program.
Liz brings an enthusiasm and excitement to the job that will be perfect for enlivening the program that brings neighbors together, and she was kind enough to make time to answer questions so that you can get to know her and the program she’ll be piloting.
Liz and her husband David Royer, editor of LampLighter and a copy editor at The Commercial Appeal, moved back to Memphis in 2011. Citing the neighbors, architecture, and restaurants, she says they knew in advance that Cooper-Young was the hometown neighborhood for them. With their three dogs, cat, and three ducks, not to mention their many contributions to the neighborhood vibe (the Royers have been spotted at community meetings, first Thursday music events, and as contestants at the chili cook-off.), it definitely looks like a good fit. Liz even works for a local Midtown company that values community involvement.
So what is Liz’s new role all about? The CYCA Block Club program is a program where residents team up with others on their block under the direction of a “block captain” or maybe even “block co-captains.” The designation is casual and in essence indicates the neighbor who has agreed to be the organizer of that block “club.”
What does a block club do? Involvement varies, and Liz’s new role will be, as she put it, “to encourage these clubs to stay active and keep in touch with old neighbors while reaching out to new ones.” The block club captains are Liz’s point of contact for each club.The big CYCA Block Club event every year is National Night Out, and all clubs are encouraged to plan a porch-lights-on, front-yard party for Aug. 6.
According to www.natw.org, the website for National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out started in 1984 “to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”
In Cooper-Young, we take the security and safety of our residents and visitors seriously, and National Night Out is one way to support that initiative. It’s also just a darn good excuse to hang out with the neighbors you know, meet some neighbors you don’t yet know, and share food and drink. Keep in mind, though, that National Night Out isn’t the end of it.
Your new Block Club chairwoman noted, “Staying connected with your neighbors is the easiest way to fight crime and blight and keep Cooper-Young a safe and beautiful neighborhood. And it’s fun to meet new people!”
Your block club might choose to have parties throughout the year, organize a safety watch group for your street, take shifts to get food to an ill neighbor, create a “phone tree” for certain events, train for disaster response, or organize periodic clean-ups of an adjacent alley. Be creative and have fun!
While Liz is currently busy organizing and updating the database of block clubs, she’s also promoting the use of cooper-young.nextdoor.com. “It’s like Facebook, but just for Cooper-Young residents, and people are already using it to find out what’s going around them.” If you want to get involved, consider becoming your block’s captain.
According to Liz, “Every block needs a captain to get the party started. If you want to be one, or find out who is your block’s captain, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me through nextdoor.com.” And be sure to thank Liz for volunteering her time and skills to help make Cooper-Young the special place it is!
By Renee Massey
The CYCA Block Club program is just one more way your community association works towards our purpose: to make Cooper-Young a safer, more desirable place to live, worship, work, and play. You can support the Block Club program and other CYCA activities by becoming a member. Join online at http://www.cooperyoung.org/, by completing the membership form in this paper, by calling our Executive Director at 901-272-CYCA (2922), or by stopping in during office hours at 2298 Young Ave. Life is good in Cooper-Young!