The power in a community comes from the people and the past week in La Jolla showed what could be accomplished when those people want to get something done.
We’ve talked about it before, but after the July Fourth weekend - which saw a large, happy crowd show up for community-sponsored fireworks and a brand-new playground open - we figured it was time to give another high five to everyone who made these things happen. It’s also a good time to look at what a little unity means, even if it comes in the name of play.
The sense of team started to surface when a new face on the La Jolla scene, Adam Harris, jumped into the void after it was announced that the annual fireworks display was canceled. Once he got the ball rolling, two veterans of Village life - Deborah Marengo and George Hauer - brought their considerable experience to the plate.
And voila, with some help from their friends and a lot of hard work, they hit a home run with a crowd-pleasing fireworks display accented by a sterling performance from the Marine Corps Aircraft Wing Band.
Meanwhile, at La Jolla Shores, the weekend was brightened by the opening of the new Kellogg Park Playground which kids (and a few grownups) were crawling all over within minutes of the fence coming down. The park story is one that shows it is possible to work with city officials - and save money.
The efforts of the Shores community, from committee co-chairs Tory Gulley and Greg Salmon and Mary Coakley to the throng of volunteers who not only donated cash to make it happen but also their labor, is more testimony to teamwork. And they’re not done.
Watch for some exciting news on the next piece of the park that has even the hardcore boosters grinning.
The important thing, now though, is to take the momentum and keep the ball rolling.
Two foundations exist to keep the fireworks and the playground projects moving forward. Of course, money is part of the challenge but so is finding people with the energy to keep the few leaders from wearing out. It’s not easy chasing down the details and recruiting others to help that gave us fireworks and a playground.
Let’s take inspiration from these two events and think bigger: What could La Jolla be if each of us decided to give a little bit more. We have challenges in our local world that aren’t going to be solved by the city council or a little stimulus money.
If we work together on our challenges, we can overcome a lot.