New Neighbors And Support Teams Celebrate!

October 29, 2023 0 Comments

After two disappointing flood- and weather-related cancellations, we were finally able to hold a CVRAN picnic and celebration for new neighbors and their support teams on Saturday, October 7, in partnership with the North Branch Nature Center (NBNC). Heavy rain was predicted for the afternoon, but Mother Nature smiled on us and it held off until 3:30, a half hour after we ended. The weather was perfect!

A potluck lunch.
Enjoying lunch at the 2023 Family and Support Team picnic. Photo: C. Griset

About 50 guests were in attendance, including CVRAN members and volunteers, former guests, and newcomers we have recently welcomed. Countries represented that day include Afghanistan, Columbia, Nicaragua, Congo, Tunisia, and Sudan.  The goal of the gathering was to connect with others who are involved in CVRAN’s mission of welcoming and resettling refugees and asylees, and to celebrate our growing community. That is exactly what was achieved!  Guests helped themselves to the bountiful potluck, made introductions, and met some of the newcomers for the first time. The kids loved running around outside, playing soccer and corn hole.  Catherine Griset from NBNC led an enthusiastic group on the brand- new accessible nature trail and fielded all kinds of questions and observations from the children. Her love of nature was contagious!

We are so grateful to the North Branch Nature Center for offering their space, both indoors and out, for our gathering. We could not be luckier to have this beautiful land, so easily accessible to us, offering us the best that nature has to offer at no cost to anyone. We hope this event will inspire more gatherings that bring us together and celebrate our diversity.

Children looking at something outside
North Branch Nature Center’s Catherine Griset helped the children explore outdoor wonders. Photo: C. Griset
People enjoying a meal together
Families and support teams enjoy a meal together at the North Branch Nature Center. Photo: C. Griset