North Side block watch to mark 20th anniversary next week with homecoming
By David Skolnick
The Know Your Neighbor Block Watch on the North Side is celebrating its 20th anniversary Saturday with an event at the Judge William Rayen Stadium.
Called the Rayen Neighborhood Homecoming, the event from 1 to 7 p.m. will feature games for children and adults, line dancing, native American dancers, karaoke, vendors, free hot dogs, a kickball game, a bicycle giveaway and bicycle-safety information. The stadium is at Benita and Cordova avenues.
“We wanted to do something special for our 20th year so we’re inviting everyone, but particularly Rayen alumni and current and former North Side residents, to join us,” said Joyce Davidson, block-watch director. “It will be a day of fun and seeing old neighbors and old friends.”
The program will include recognition of iconic broadcaster and activist Frankie “Mr. Lucky” Halfacre, a former North Side resident who died in 2006; Richard Atkinson, a former 3rd Ward councilman and city school board member who helped Know Your Neighbor get started; and Benjamin Davidson, Joyce’s husband who co-founded the block watch with his wife.
Its main focus has been on working with neighborhood kids, Joyce Davidson said.
The group received grants from the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. for youths to clean up vacant property at Ohio and Dennick avenues to create a garden for birds, bees and butterflies and to learn the value of teamwork and relationship building, she said.