Opening up shop
Beaverdale Young Professionals group looks to become visible part of community
By Matt Miller
Nestled in the heart of Des Moines, the Beaverdale neighborhood is a blueprint for mixing residential areas and commercial business effectively. And although Beaverdale is laden with rich history, a core group — the Beaverdale Young Professionals — is working to revamp its presence in the area by bringing local residents and fans of Beaverdale together to network, socialize and expand their views.
“Our goal is to become a visible part of the community by networking, charitable opportunities and social events for young professionals in or around the Beaverdale area,” said Ellen Duwelius, president of the Beaverdale Young Professionals group. “We want to establish a strong foundation of local talent for the future.”
Since the inception of the Beaverdale Young Professionals in 2008, the group has endured fluctuating group and board membership, and some believe the group’s idea never really took hold with participants. But in collaboration with this year’s annual Beaverdale Fall Fest set for Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19, the group hopes to turn over a new leaf and become a mainstay in the community.
“The group had its share of ups and downs, but there’s a sense of a new start with help of the Beaverdale Fall Fest,” said Patrick Lawson, marketing chair for the organization. “The event is a good way to spread the word about what we’re trying to accomplish.”
The two-day event will include a parade, rides, food, non-food vendors, music and fireworks. The Beaverdale Young Professionals will have a float in the parade and hopes to bring awareness about the group’s effort, grow its member base and raise funds for the organization.
“The annual Fall Fest is a great celebration of what Beaverdale has to offer,” said Nick Warnemund, 25, who is a new member to the group. “The event will help our group even more.”
With many young professionals, networking and socializing take place over drinks, and this is the case with the Beaverdale Young Professionals, too. The group will host its first annual Beaverdale Fall Fest Beer Olympics for those of legal drinking age on Saturday, Sept. 15 at Kelley’s on Beaver, 3606 Beaver Ave. The event runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $15 per person.
“The event is an opportunity for those interested to come out, network, get to know each other and do it all in a relaxed atmosphere,” Lawson said. “It’s a way to give back to the community for all the support they have given us.”
The Beaverdale Young Professionals have volunteered at the Calvin Community Retirement home earlier this summer. Plans are in the works to have a yard workday this fall and provide families with Christmas presents this holiday season.
“Des Moines has a number of young professionals groups, but we want the Beaverdale group to have more of a close-knit feeling to it,” Duwelius said. “People may get intimated by the ‘business’ side of the events, but we try to find a balance between professionalism and fun.”
We the People note: The annual Light the Night Walk will take place on Sept. 26 at the West Glen Town Center, 5525 Mills Civic Parkway. The walk is a 1.5-mile walk that benefits the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for blood cancer research, financial assistance to cover patient expenses, educational material and local programs. Check in is at 5:30 p.m., and the walk begins at 7:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $25. Call 270-6169 or visit www.lightthenight.org/ia. CV
Caption: The Beaverdale Young Professionals will participate in the annual Beaverdale Fall Fest. They will hold their fundraising event at 1 p.m. at Kelley’s on Beaver. E-mail email@example.com. Photo courtesy of Ellen Duwelius