On Saturday, the community gathered together on Third Street for the first ever community block party organized by Drew Carter. The block party was an open event for everyone, offering a night of friendly and free entertainment, food, and the opportunity to connect with neighbors, businesses and the local Fire and Police departments.
The block party hosted a live DJ and party lights, inflatables for children, a petting zoo, free food provided by Cedric Davis, autographs and pictures with Al Oliver, and showed the Ohio State game on a huge blow up screen. The Fire Department was also present and let kids climb up onto the truck.
“This event is all about community unity. With all the negative talk about Portsmouth on social media, and the bad publicity we’ve been getting here, I believe that the only way we can change that is by taking the responsibility to change upon ourselves. I just felt like someone had to do something to bring the community together, “said Drew Carter, CEO Andrew Carter Collections LLC.
Carter was also concerned with making sure everyone was able to come out and enjoy themselves at the block party, and that no one was excluded because they couldn’t afford to attend.
“I was trying to do something that was totally free, something where local businesses could come and network with each other. Get the word out to the community about their services, maybe even help someone find a job by the connections they make. We also have a table set up for voter registration, hopefully we’ll get some first time voters registered and help them be more active in the community. I wanted people to come out just for one night, with a positive energy and have a great time together. All this was possible thanks to the great people or Portsmouth.” said Carter.
“Drew has always been involved in the community,” said Jeremy Greene, who assisted in organizing the block party. “I saw him a few weeks ago and told him I wanted to work with him and get involved in some of his upcoming projects. He told me about his idea for the community block party, which he wanted to do to bring something positive in the community. I thought it was a great idea.
The event also brought together the community with Shawnee State University.
“Drew Carter put this event together and wanted to bring in the community leaders to let people know we are here. We want people to see us as our neighbors, friends, and fellow members of the community without being afraid or intimidated,” said David Thoroughman, Director of Public Safety at Shawnee State University.
The Portsmouth Police Department and Chief Ware also attended the block party and gave out popcorn and snow cones.
“We have a lot of challenges across the nation right now, every community in some way shares in those challenges. The way we overcome them is in unity, by bringing the community together,” said Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware. “This is a great partnership between Shawnee State University and their student base, the police department, the city, and the community we serve. We have members of the community that feel like they can make a difference too and help out. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring all those parties together so we can enjoy community and look forward to working together to solve our challenges.”
Carter hopes to make the community block party an annual event and bring even more members of the community out to partake in the festivities.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932