The Westbury High School band kicked off the festivities at the annual Brays Oaks Management District Community Appreciation night on November 17. The band set the tone for the rest of the evening’s fun, which included a DJ, free food, local vendors and two bouncy houses for the kids. The celebration, which was moved to November after rains cancelled the original National Night Out event, served as an opportunity for neighbors to enjoy a lovely fall evening together, and for the Brays Oaks Management District to say thank you to neighbors and businesses for coming together and rebuilding after Harvey.
The event was funded entirely by the management district and was free to attendees. As neighbors arrived, they were encouraged to pick up a hamburger or hot dog, chips and a drink, and send the kids to the bouncy house. People also perused goods from local vendors like LaNetta Callicutt, a teacher who also sells her own custom jewelry.
Other vendors, like the local branch of Houston Community College, had booths where people could look into educational and vocational opportunities in the district. Elected officials like Senator Boris Miles and Council Members Mike Laster and Larry Green were also in attendance.
The Brays Oaks Management District, created by neighbors years ago as a way to preserve the area and promote economic growth, also helps support after school programming, student transportation and even the Westbury High School Band. “The band was able to compete in four competitions this year and they came in first for three of them. When the kids know that they have the funding that allows them to compete they have something to practice for,” said BOMD Executive Director Rich Rodriguez.
Brays Oaks is one of the most diversely and densely populated areas of Houston. The district board is required to have at least four seats reserved for local residents, and uses events like this one to foster a sense of community among neighbors and business owners alike. The large turn-out at the event suggests that the district is on target, and with a bouncy castle to boot.