Nodine Hill residents gather for good times after two devastating fires

(08/30/03) YONKERS - Two major fires have caused serious damage in the Nodine Hill section of Yonkers, including the Oak Street fire last March that killed five people. Now, the people who live in that neighborhood are putting their heads together for a new beginning in the community. A party was held Saturday to celebrate a new community at Sullivan Park. That is at the corner of Spruce Street and Van Cortlandt Park Avenue.

There were booths with all kinds of interesting things to buy. Children and their parents enjoyed the swings in the playground. The folks at Sullivan Park celebrated the sunshine and a rebirth of sorts. The Yonkers Fire Department was also on hand with their life-safety trailer to teach kids how to survive a fire and to practice exit drills from their homes.

Nodine Hill has seen its share of crime and dirty streets. One community activist says that image has plagued the area, but the power of community organizing combined with additional resources form the city have started to alter that picture. Yonkers police recently wrapped up "Operation Gang Busters" resulting in hundreds of arrests.

Rev. Debra Avery of the Good Shepard Presbyterian Church says the people of the community have come together to become a strong voice for change. She says they must keep that effort up for the Nodine Hill section of Yonkers to continue to grow.

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