Beth Autrey says “we’ve arrived.” The Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association board president excitedly recounted a phone call from days ago where a Ridgeland man asked for help and a blueprint of sorts to help organize his own Madison County neighborhood. This was one of many highlights at this weekend’s BNA Annual meeting held at Broadmeadow United Methodist Church. Nearly two dozen neighbors in the top of Fondren gathered to review the year that was and elect a new slate of officers. “Others are following what we do”, Autry added, and the good news continued in the 45 minute meeting.

Board secretary Terry Neyland said the most important part of the day was in getting neighbors together to hear about what is planned for the year. Those plans include a new event, a crawfish boil, the braindchild of new board member Barbara Parks, set for April 21. Add to that the annual 4th of July parade and cookout, October’s Blocktoberfeast and a neighborhood trick or treat night and December’s Fab Food Fest, the year’s big fundraiser. Speaking of funds, incoming board treasurer Linden Potts gleefully spoke of a sizable positive sum in the associations coffers. “That’s not bad for a non-dues paying association”, he remarked.

Broadmeadow says they know how to throw a good party, but their reach goes beyond good times. The group is also active in identify zoning issues, nuisance animals and neighborhood upkeep and development. Vice President Wade Thompson said BNA works with other neighborhood associations like Broadmoor to monitor changes that would alter the character of their joining neighborhoods. “We successfully worked with the City this past year”, he said, “to effect positive change”. The association continues to partner with other Fondren organizations on other redevelopment ideas. They say they’re working with the city to give incentives to develop distinct physical characteristics you see over & over in Fondren.

New board officers were elected for 2012. Those are Beth Autrey returning as president, Wade Thompson returning as vice president, Linden Potts as treasurer, Terry Neyland as secretary and Chuck Wise as arts & education chair. Also on the board are Helen Napier as Broadmeadow United Methodist liaison, Mary Purvis as communications chair and Barbara Park as service chair. Two other positions were filled on the day as well. Anna Frank was nominated as a member at large and stepped in to assist with the annual 4th of July parade. Slate was approved by unanimous vote. And Jonathan Lee spoke up to begin a new “welcome wagon” committee to make newcomers to Broadmeadow feel welcome. Thank yous went out to sponsors McDade’s, Nix Tan, Fondren Guitars and Broadmeadow United Methodist. Autrey and Thompson both sent accolades to Find It In Fondren™ as well for “greater exposure in the last year”.

Autrey ended the time by inviting all residents to their monthly meeting, the 2nd Tuesday of each month, and recapping the past year’s mission. “My philosophy was ‘say yes’ and we found out what works”, she said. “I hope this neighborhood has a feel to it”, the board president continued. “Our theme was ‘communicate, celebrate and serve. We’ve made progress, but have a long way to go. Let’s keep moving forward”.