Members of three Lake Highlands homeowners associations joined forces this weekend for fun and fellowship, but they handled some serious subjects as well. Organizers said neighbors are more vigilant in looking out for one another when they know each other as friends and when they recognize the children playing in yards and parks nearby. You can check out my photos from the picnic below.

Members of Rolling Trails, Highlands West and Pebble Creek HOAs participated in the Spring Fling, with kids enjoying confetti eggs, face painting and an elaborate bounce house with slide.

In addition to drinks and snacks provided by homeowners, attendees purchased lemonade and bake sale items sold by three 3rd grade girls working to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Ashley Ann Warrick and Madeleine Jones came up with the idea, and they invited their friend Erin Brackenridge along to lend a hand.

“We wanted to help,” Ashley Anne told me. “Madeleine inspired me.”

“We felt bad that they had to suffer death and damage,” Madeleine replied. “It’s important to care about other people and do what you can to help.”

Families purchased homemade peanut butter cookies, strawberry pies and rice krispie treats, and the luckiest early bidders went home with a chocolate chip cake made using Paula Deen’s own recipe.

“Imagine if I was in that position,” Erin wondered thoughtfully. “What would I want others to do?”