By Zancuous Wright, Corps Member at Wheatley Middle School
It was 8:00 am on the morning of Saturday, December 11, 2012— the 2nd Annual Pride of the Eastside Block Party. It was a tad bit cold, but I knew it would be a long, hot day.
I arrived at Sam Houston High School at 10:45am, jumped into my Santa suit excited to win the day.
The people of the community arrived at 11:00am. It is now what feels like 95 degrees (because only in Texas is it 80 degrees before noon in mid-December). The kids were slow to come take pictures with me and Mrs. Claus; only staff and my teammates from Wheatley would take pictures with me.
Before we knew it, “The Wobble” came on the loud speaker. Now, you know the Mrs. and I had to get out there and show these kids how we do it up in the North Pole. After they saw I was just a regular guy, they opened up and we had a great day of picture taking.
Meanwhile, as I was entertaining the children, other City Year members were hosting their own booths. To the right were corps members from Davis Middle School helping the children write letters to Santa and putting them in a mailbox so I could read them later. To the left of us we had our very own LOTC (Learning Outside the Classroom) selling Frito Pies and other goodies to help support them this upcoming year. Other booths were the Pie in the Face booth, three-legged race, face painting, cakewalk and puppet-making. There was even a booth where you could get a free hair cut, thanks to the University Of Cosmetology Arts & Sciences.
Out of nowhere the crowd heard a loud, windy noise. In confusion, everyone searched the skies wondering where it was coming from. Then, the SAPD (San Antonio Police Department) helicopter came into eyesight. Frank Lopez, the block party project leader from Sam Houston High School, came on the microphone and announces it would be landing on the football field very soon. Excited, the children rushed to see it land. I had to put my “Be Back In 5” sign up so I could get a view as well.
After all the helicopter fun, Stormy Weather A Capella from Sam Houston performed an outstanding rendition of “Apologize” by One Republic. A few of Frank’s brothers from St. Mary’s Omega Delta Phi step team danced for us and it got me wanting to step as well.
The food finished, the music died out… it was now 2:00pm and the people of the community departed for home. From the happy and tired looks, it was obvious the event was successful. I, however, was ready to get out of that Santa suit.
CYSA had yet another successful event and we could not have had it without the leadership of the Sam Houston team, who did an amazing job. I can only hope to be invited to the 3rd annual Pride of the East Side Block Party next year.