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Neighbors Band Together Block Party Unites 1,200 Residents, Merchants, Police

“En garde!”


“Oooh, I’m killed!”

David Bonilla’s legs quivered as he lay on his back. His 10-year-old son, Michael, had just stabbed him with a long green balloon, twisted into the shape of a sword.

This was one of the more violent scenes in a crowd of about 1,200 at the 3rd Annual Logan Neighborhood Block Party at Fourth Memorial Church, 2000 N. Standard, on Wednesday night.

The purpose of the block party is to unite the residents of Logan neighborhood with the police, local businesses and Fourth Memorial Church, chairwoman Charlotte Karling said.

When Michael Bonilla wasn’t duelling with his dad, he and his 12-year-old sister, Rachel, participated in the Cookie Walk, a combination of musical chairs and bingo.

Meanwhile, their mother, LeeAnn Bonilla, watched a group of boys attempt to knock down a stack of bottles at the baseball toss, in between the hockey shoot and the tae-kwon-do demonstration.

She couldn’t decide which was the best attraction.

“Well, the dunk tank is definitely the coldest, but the most impressive thing is the people who put this on,” she said. “Nowadays you don’t know what’s going to happen when you do something like this.”

She noted the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child, saying the block party was a step toward forming that village.

“It’s trying to become not just a neighborhood but a big family,” she said, as a teenager in green shorts, a green flannel and hair to match, walked by.

That was 16-year-old Lee Spring.

He and his friends were headed toward the youngsters of the Fourth Memorial Church Music/ Drama Camp, who were performing songs throughout the evening.

Spring was just thankful he had something to do Wednesday night for free, while his friend Lyra Henry, 18, was focusing on how the block party is bringing back a sense of community to the neighborhood.

“It seems like a little town. They should keep doing this,” she said.

Even though there was free popcorn, snow cones, ice cream and lemonade, donated by various Spokane businesses, Bennie Hicks was taking advantage of the free education.

“It’s good for the kids to get exposure to the fire department and the police department,” Hicks said. “And it’s definitely cost efficient.

Karling got the idea to hold a neighborhood block party when she was looking out of the tall clear windows of the church and saw a young boy, with his nose pressed to the glass, staring back.

“Most churches have stained glass that you can’t see out of. We’ve seen drug deals in the alley,” Karling said. “That makes your heart want to help.”

The party continues tonight at 6 p.m. at Fourth Memorial Church.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color Photo