Amity Gardens Neighborhood 2021 Holiday Decorations Contest Winner!!

Congratulations to The Thomas family at 5362 Buena Vista Avenue for winning 1st place in the Amity Gardens Neighborhood Holiday Decorations contest. They received a $75 Walmart gift card and have the Holiday Decorations winner sign in their yard.

“Christmas cheer is a family tradition at the home of the Thomas Family, 5362 Buena Vista Avenue. Donna and Alan Thomas chose to purchase the home from Alan’s grandmother when they were married in 1995, choosing to ultimately raise their family in their heirloom of a home which they have added their own personal touch to over the years.

“I love that we chose to raise our two boys in Amity Gardens,” Donna explains, “we all have shared great memories here. Although we have expanded and refurbished MawMaw Thomas’ original home to make it our own, we know she would be so proud. My most favorite addition is our front porch. It is more than a structure, to me it is a part of my life and my own family traditions.” Growing up in North Carolina and visiting her family in Florida and South Georgia, the front porch was where it all happened. Family gatherings, celebrations, reunions…all involved front porch sitting – something that is even more special during the holidays.

Donna is a second generation honorary “Griswold”, a nod to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Alan and Donna enjoy lighting up the night and sharing their festive, cozy atmosphere with all who travel down Buena Vista Avenue. Donna gets it from her father (Retired CMPD Deputy Chief Glen Mowrey), you should see his yard at Christmas!

Alan, the introverted yang to Donna’s outgoing yin, is happy that home has always been a focal point for neighborhood and family gatherings (just like it was when his grandmother lived in the home) – much of which is thanks to Donna’s involvement in the Amity Gardens Neighborhood Association, her support of CMPD Community Policing efforts, and more.

Many a potluck, neighborhood gathering, front porch chatter, family meals and more will happily continue to happen at the Thomas home; but for now, much of it is currently on pause due to COVID-19. Stop by and give a wave if you can. They will be happy to see you this holiday season.

Holiday Decorations Winners!!

We have the winners for the Amity Gardens Holiday Decorations contest winners. A big thank you to the judges (that don’t know where anyone lives) for judging the decorations this year.

We have been waiting to post because we are still waiting to hear from the third-place winner. We going to list the winners here and have separate posts with a little bio and photos of each home.

1st Place – 5362 Buena Vista Avenue
2nd Place – 2127 Lanier Avenue
3rd Place – 2027 Lanier Avenue

December Yard Of The Month Holiday Decorations Contest!

It is holiday decorations time again. The yard chosen will be based on holiday decorations.

1st Place – Amity Gardens Holiday Decorations Winner sign in their yard AND a $75 Walmart gift card.

2nd Place – $50 Walmart gift card

3rd Place – $25 Walmart gift card

We will have an outside judges drive through Amity Gardens (date to be determined soon). The yard chosen will be based on holiday decorations. After December we will not have another Yard of the Month until spring.

June Yard of the Month

Congratulations to Anne Barnett of 1000 Dudley Drive for being chosen for this month’s Yard of the Month recognition.

“I have lived in Amity Gardens forever! I love this neighborhood, the neighbors and how close it is to uptown. So happy that renovation has begun on the Ervin Building and can’t wait for the rooftop restaurant to open. Thanks for the nomination for Yard of the Month. It is amazing what cutting the weeds and putting pine straw around can do for a yard!” – Anne Barnett

Third Place Winner……

Congratulations to The Thomas family at 5362 Buena Vista Avenue for being chosen for Third Place in the Amity Gardens Neighborhood Holiday Decorations contest. They received a $25 Walmart gift card.

“Christmas cheer is a family tradition at the home of the Thomas Family, 5362 Buena Vista Avenue. Donna and Alan Thomas chose to purchase the home from Alan’s grandmother when they were married in 1995, choosing to ultimately raise their family in their heirloom of a home which they have added their own personal touch to over the years.

“I love that we chose to raise our two boys in Amity Gardens,” Donna explains, “we all have shared great memories here. Although we have expanded and refurbished MawMaw Thomas’ original home to make it our own, we know she would be so proud. My most favorite addition is our front porch. It is more than a structure, to me it is a part of my life and my own family traditions.” Growing up in North Carolina and visiting her family in Florida and South Georgia, the front porch was where it all happened. Family gatherings, celebrations, reunions…all involved front porch sitting – something that is even more special during the holidays.

Donna is a second generation honorary “Griswold”, a nod to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. With assistance from Alan and her two adult sons, Taylor and David, they light up the night sharing their festive, cozy atmosphere with all who travel down Buena Vista Avenue. (Donna gets it from her father, Retired CMPD Deputy Chief Glen Mowrey.)

Alan, the introverted yang to Donna’s outgoing yin, is happy that home has always been a focal point for neighborhood and family gatherings (just like it was when his grandmother lived in the home) – much of which is thanks to Donna’s involvement in the Amity Gardens Neighborhood Association, her support of CMPD Community Policing efforts, and more.

Many a potluck, neighborhood gathering, front porch chatter, family meals and more will happily continue to happen at the Thomas home; but for now, much of it is currently on pause due to COVID-19. Stop by and give a wave if you can. They will be happy to see you this holiday season.”

Second Place Winner!!

“The Carter’s moved into this neighborhood in the early 1960s and have remained in this home since that time. Christmas has historically been a big celebration and many traditions were started and have been continued.

Our home has always been decorated both inside and out to sing praises, welcome others, and to show our spirit. The Carter home has always been open and welcoming to anyone.

Many of the decorations are those that were used by our parents, who loved the opportunity to shine bright for the season and we have, with great love in remembrance of our parents, and honor to continue those traditions.

Our family has been blessed in many ways and we are happy to share those blessings.

We are honored to have been chosen and blessed to be part of such a wonderful community.

Merry Christmas everyone!”

Mary Carter & Luke Carter

First Place Winner!!

Congratulations to Mary Tucker at 2238 Lanier Avenue for winning FIRST PLACE in the Amity Gardens Holiday Decorations contest. Mary received a $75 gift card to Walmart and the WINNER sign for her yard.

“I moved here in 1989, the year Hugo blew through, the best neighborhood in Charlotte.

A few years later Anne Barnett (corner of Unaka & Dudley) gave me this tree for Christmas (just a little sprig) who thought it would get this big. She and Hans Christiansen (deceased) planted it.

Several years ago Terry Greene (Bernie Helms) nephew brought a crew and installed 13,000 lights on the tree. Squirrels love to chew on them. If you have any extra string lights you are willing to sell cheap, let me know. 

My son worked on the lights on Thanksgiving day and got them working and put the rest of the lights in the yard. Bonnie install the lights around the house.

I am SO EXCITED to be chosen” – Mary Tucker

December Yard Of The Month/Holiday Decorations Contest!

Holiday Decorations Contest – VOTING is Wednesday Night 12/16/20 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

It is holiday decorations time again. The yard chosen will be based on holiday decorations.

VOTING is WEDNESDAY night 12/16/2020 and the winners will be notified on Thursday. We have two sets of judges that do not live in Amity Gardens that will be driving through the neighborhood between 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.. Then they will compare notes and choose the 3 winners.

1st Place – AG Holiday Decorations Winner sign in their yard AND a $75 Walmart gift card.

2nd Place – $50 Walmart gift card

3rd Place – $25 Walmart gift card

After December we will not have another Yard of the Month until spring.

December Yard Of The Month Holiday Decorations Contest!

It is holiday decorations time again. The yard chosen will be based on holiday decorations.

1st Place – AG Holiday Decorations Winner sign in their yard AND a $75 Walmart gift card.

2nd Place – $50 Walmart gift card

3rd Place – $25 Walmart gift card

We will have an outside judges drive through Amity Gardens (date to be determined soon). The yard chosen will be based on holiday decorations.

After December we will not have another Yard of the Month until spring.

Amity Gardens June Yard of the Month!

Congratulations to Randy Stimpson and Charlie Ross of 2237 Lanier Avenue for being chosen for the Amity Gardens June Yard of the Month!

I (Randy) have owned my home in Amity Gardens since 1993. Charlie and I have been together since 2016 (she is the reason for Yard of the Month).

I have moved away several times—but always found myself back here—this is home to me.

Way back in 1958 my newlywed parents bought one of the first houses in Amity Gardens, on Unaka. They had three little girls, my sisters Kathy, Lisa, and Kim—and suddenly outgrew their home. They moved to Rama Road and shortly after, I was born.

Independence Boulevard was in it’s Golden Years…the world’s largest domed Coliseum, Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, the bowling alley pins spinning non-stop and South 21 was all the rage. South 21 still is of course…but a lot has changed over the years.

I grew up going to Rama Swim Club, eating with my Mom at Eckerd’s lunch counter in the Amity Gardens Shopping Center, played sports for Providence Day and East Meck and did a lot shopping and hanging out at Eastland Mall. I worked at Victoria Station, Baskin Robbins, TGI Friday’s, Darryl’s, Grady’s, The Scoreboard and finally went on to publish Prowler Magazine, Southern Sports Journal and Charlotte’s Best Magazine. You can find digital copies of Charlotte’s Best online at ISSUU.com to see more of Charlotte over the years. It’s been a great ride.

It’s nice to see the neighborhood as it is now—everything is beautiful, the new faces and new enthusiasm make Amity Gardens a very special place, tucked away in trees and flowers with a comforting chorus of birds, busy wildlife and nice neighbors—and when you’re ready it is just 5 minutes from uptown Charlotte. We all have it pretty good here.

Charlie moved from her lake house at Lake Wylie and just loves the neighborhood. We are working on a vintage horse trailer *(you may have seen) to restore it for her food service business “Charlie’s Dogs”—she serves incredible hot dogs with dual purpose—we foster and adopt out dogs at events.

Charlie and Randy live on Lanier with their three dogs Kota (Pom), Josie (Pom) and newest edition Pepper (Jack Russell-the loudest you’ll hear in the window as you walk by), and several cats (and frequent fosters), plus a ball-python snake named Pockets. We are not snake people but Pockets needed a home and she, believe it or not is the sweetest of all of our animals. If she’s out in the yard, come say “Hi”.