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BBQs, dancing in the street mark Del Webb gatherings
Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police volunteer Don Reed, right, chats with Del Webb residents on Morning Brook having a National Night Out block party next to one of Woodbridges photogenic water features. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

They partied, chatted with old and new friends, and danced the night away on the street. That’s how dozens of residents at the Woodbridge at Del Webb took a stand against crime in their neighborhood on National Night Out Tuesday.

A half-dozen block parties were held at the age-exclusive residential enclave on North Union Road. They were among the scores of similar annual events that took place in residential neighborhoods all around Manteca, and thousands more throughout the country.

The biggest party at Del Webb in terms of attendance took place at Dogwood Glenn where the main attraction was the seven-member Second Chance Band. Their repertoire included upbeat and toe-tapping music which brought several of the neighborhood friends on their feet and into the middle of the street to cut a rug on the asphalt. Others simply sat in lawn chairs under colorful patio umbrellas to enjoy the band which is made up of friends and neighbors. Among the members are husband and wife Chuck and Irma Lewis who played keyboard and percussion, respectively. They also hosted the evening’s block party.

Rounding out the band were drummer John Green, rhythm guitarist Fred Welch, lead and rhythm guitarist Gary Dimare, harmonica player Roger Cunning, and his wife, keyboardist Elizabeth Cunning.

One of the highlights at the block parties was the special visit of the two handsome horses - Hanovarian Stanley, and Quarter Horse Quinn – which make up the Manteca Police Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit, also known as Equestrian Unit. They were brought to the parties by Sergeant Jodie Estarziau and Officer Joe DeAngelis. The horses are mainly used for parking enforcement during the holidays or to patrol the Tidewater Bike Path, explained Estarziau.

Some of the Manteca Police SHARP volunteers (Seniors Helping Area Residents and Police) and the Manteca District Ambulance stopped by to mingle with the residents as well.

Also doing the rounds at all of the block parties was Assemblyman Bill Berryhill’s field representative Bob Busser who presented each group a certificate of recognition from the legislator for their participation in the collective effort to fight crime.

“This is in honor of all your participation in the National Night Out program and for helping the police keep the bad guys out of your neighborhood,” Busser told the residents.

Bob Canto who, with wife Linda, hosted the gathering at Morning Brook for the second year in a row, said they were very happy with the “great attendance” they had at both events.

“It’s very successful. We’ve had a lot of help. Everybody participated real well,” said Bob Canto. He and his wife moved to Del Webb four years ago.

He said he volunteered to host the event because, “I enjoy meeting and mingling with the neighbors. It’s a good thing to know your neighbors for security.”

Their block-party neighborhood consisted of 25 houses.