The Best-Laid Plans

We like our Tote Bags!

The Southern Gables Neighborhood Association likes to encourage residents to do business locally, with the idea of neighbors helping neighbors and strengthening community ties. One of our projects involves collecting information and promotional items from our Local Business Supporters, assembling them into a collection in our distinctive Southern Gables green tote bags, and delivering them to all the neighbors. For the last few years the students of the Carmody Middle School National Junior Honor Society have eagerly taken on the project of assembling and distributing the bags, earning money in the process for their club. It’s a real win-win, and always a treat to work with the young people.

This year they ran into a snag and although they could do the tedious work of getting all the bag contents together they couldn’t do the distribution. Panic! That’s over a thousand bags, each one lightweight but put them all together piled high and wide, and think of the size of our neighborhood with about nine miles of streets to walk, and you can see it’s a formidable job.  We looked around for other groups or organizations who might do it, and came up dry. But hey, how about neighbors?

Doug Whitten, Association President, had the crazy idea that within our Southern Gables community there might be enough helpful folks who would volunteer to do the job. No club affiliation, no bonus, no payment, just helpful people. And what do you know, it worked! Doug wants to extend a big THANKS TO EVERYONE who pitched in to help.

Volunteer Peggy Goold and her expert distribution crew

  • Frank Bontrager
  • Barb and Russ Bromby
  • Tom and Billy Cummins
  • Brian and Wendy Diamante
  • Ken Fischer
  • Peggy Goold and two granddaughters
  • Bruce Loftis
  • Deb Martin and daughter
  • Glen McCarthy and Justina Walls
  • Bruce and Stormy McDonald
  • Samantha Monell
  • Monica Norval
  • Karen Purtell and daughters
  • Sandy and Dick Roark
  • Dale Trone and Kathy Baird
  • Judy Whitten

View our website,, to see some of our Selected Business Partners. And by the way, Doug says that if you DID NOT get one, you can call him at 303-986-7157, email, or use our Contact Form and he will get it to you.

You can meet Doug, and other neighbors, at the annual meeting of the association on Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 at the school. We will have Mayor Adam Paul, our Ward 5 City Council representatives, and representatives from the Police Department to update us on issues of concern to the community, and, as always, a chance to socialize with Southern Gables neighbors. More info here.

Doug says the Tote Bag delivery went the best he has ever seen. There’s something about neighbors pitching in that’s good to see, and in our Southern Gables community that’s what we like. Hope to see you soon!

What Do the Dues Do?

What kind of Neighborhood Association charges only $20 dues — PER YEAR? This kind. The Southern Gables Neighborhood Association. The kind that donates to support organizations that make our community a better place to live, such as these during the past year:

    • Green Gables Elementary School – Needy Family Fund: $1,488
    • Senior Resource Center: $750
    • Westwoods Community Church Youth Fund: $750
    • CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates: $1,200
    • Action Center – $500.00 plus $500.00 Matching: $1,000
    • Lakewood Police Toy Fund: $250
    • Carmody Middle School, during their Chili Cook-Off Fundraiser: $500

The dues money we collect doesn’t cover all of that, of course; we do a fundraiser with Chipotle specifically for Green Gables Elementary, and we have a good number of neighborhood business supporters. And not all our money goes to community organizations. For example our annual Leaf Raking and Leaf Gathering, with volunteers raking leaves for neighbors who can’t do it on their own, costs us $650 for the two large dumpsters that take the collected leaves for composting. Then in August (on Friday August 23 this year) we have Neighborhood Night Out where we pay for a live DJ and provide free hot dogs and drinks, and draw for prizes which amounted last year to over $1,000 in value. Local business supporters set up booths with games and giveaways, and it’s an old-fashioned good time with friends and neighbors.

There are other things too, the kind that it’s easy to take for granted. The Association organizes and advertises an annual neighborhood garage sale, arranges monthly Southern Gables neighborhood luncheons (with a raffle for $10) and evening get-togethers, and maintains the neighborhood entrance sign (“The Rock“) at Jewell & Estes. We publish and distribute a newsletter too, twice a year (Hey, do you like to write or edit?) and then there’s the popular Southern Gables Neighborhood Tote Bags with goodies from our local business supporters. Discounts and free stuff! National Junior Honor Society students at Carmody Middle School pitched in to assemble the contents for the Tote Bags, earning $450 for their club programs in the process.

We hope you’ll see the benefit of supporting the Southern Gables Neighborhood Association. At the annual meeting of the association (Tuesday, May 7, 6:30 at the school) we will have Mayor Adam Paul, our Ward 5 City Council representatives, and representatives from the Police Department to update us on issues of concern to the community, and, as always, a chance to socialize with Southern Gables neighbors. More info here.

You can pay your dues there too. Or here if you’re busy that night. Good deal, right?