The Toluca Lake Homeowners Association (TLHOA) and Toluca Lake Neighborhood Watch joined together to create a safer and more cohesive community with a block party called “Neighbor2Neighbor” in May. The event was the brainchild of Terry Herkner from the HOA, who asked Toluca Lake Neighborhood Watch to partner on it. Jason Friedman and I, who lead the very active Neighborhood Watch, reached out to ask each of our watch captains to host a block party for their street on the same day at the same time to create a community block party.
The goal was to pair a TLHOA member from each street with a Neighborhood Watch captain to organize and hold a gathering for neighbors to come together and meet one another — and the result was a great success. Each party was unique and tailored by each group. Some had wine and cheese, others had a full barbecue, while others had an ice cream social. Some street parties had more than 50 people.
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Kurtis Delbar, friend and partner to the Neighborhood Watch, remarked that Toluca Lake is one of the safest neighborhoods in the Valley due to the active Neighborhood Watch and their swift communication between neighbors. Delbar added that cameras, lighting and signage are important; however, community awareness and friendly neighbors are the key to a successful and safer neighborhood. Toluca Lake has a great relationship among its community organizations, which include the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce, TLHOA, Toluca Lake Garden Club, Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council (GTLNC) and Toluca Lake Beautification Partners (TLBP). Many times, these organizations coordinate to arrange events, fundraisers, parades, mixers and gatherings in an effort to support their quaint and charming neighborhood. Neighbor2Neighbor was a perfect example of organizations and neighbors working together for the good and safety of their community.