Tonawanda News — (I should point out an honoree at the weekend’s event was Kenmore’s village historian, namely me, for whatever research I provided to help get the Municipal Building, our art deco treasure, on a list of historic buildings).
So we ate, drank, congratulated each other, heard speeches, raffled off goods from Kenmore merchants and danced on a dinky dance floor to the music of several members of Babik and that Kenmore diamond Brian Bauer (aka “Dr. Jazz”), clarinetist, musical scholar, Studebaker driver, occasional sideman to Bonnie Raitt and Leon Redbone and a guy who sorta fell out of the Forties.
Every lodge, American Legion Post, Little League baseball team and graduating class pulls an event like this, but this was the local cream, all under one tent. Scholars, dirty hands people, young idealists, those wizened by experience, they who work all day and then ask what they can do to help, and do it — it did my battered ego some good to think I belonged here.
Stringing up holiday lights and putting on the occasional show may not seem like a lot, until one tries to do it, with volunteer goods and labor. It seems like not a lot because, as I wrote five years ago, Kenmore the Village does not seem to require a lot of improvement.
Yet there are communities, past the first ring of the suburbs, which desperately need this sort of thing because the cause of civic improvement is typically left to government. And there are communities south of Kenmore Avenue who need it even more desperately but cannot get it together, give up before they start or wonder if anyone would answer the call.
Running a non-government, non-profit organization has its problems. Starting one from Square One is even tougher. The KVIS thrives because a good place seeks to make itself a better place.