During a time when government and public agencies need a helping hand, Auburn area volunteer groups are stepping up to help maintain long-standing events and in some cases, services, to the community. This summer showcases a variety of events that demonstrate the benefit of a partnership between citizen volunteers and local government. On Friday, Party in the Park will offer residents a chance to enjoy warm weather, good music and delicious food. The event, hosted by the Auburn Recreation District, each year benefits several local service clubs. This year it’s aimed to help out the Boy Scouts and Little League, and additional monies will beef up scholarship funds. The combination of the recreation district pairing up with local service clubs, who sell food and drinks at the event, makes a night of fun all the more worthwhile. On Saturday, the 11th Auburn Family Night Out is another good example of volunteers, businesses and public agencies such as police and fire coming together to support one another and promote community activities. All proceeds from Family Night Out benefit the Auburn Recreation District’s youth programs. Recently, citizen volunteers also partnered up with the city of Auburn and its fire department to create a shaded fuel break along the American River Canyon. In one day, volunteers and fire staff cleared nine acres. While there are still many debris-filled acres left to clear, the success of the first event is a good sign and will hopefully encourage others – especially canyon residents – to turn out for future clearings. In response to requests that Downtown and Old Town parking lots need to be enforced for time limits, the Auburn Police Department has trained its volunteers to issue parking citations. This move alleviates sworn officers to respond to calls and provide other services to residents. It also provides a very cost-efficient solution to business owners and shoppers who have long lamented that prime parking spaces are filled for too long during the day. These partnerships show that good things come out of a mix of government and volunteer leadership. Especially during challenging economic times, spirited members of our community are finding ways to keep traditions alive. Auburn residents can continue to help by either volunteering themselves or centering their summer plans on what’s happening locally. High attendance numbers continue to boost special events and help our city officials continue to provide the best possible services to residents.