By Adam Cook
Staff writer
Food, fun and animals described the scene at the Gables on Friday morning at the annual block party.
Games of corn hole lined the way to a petting zoo where students were able to pet animals such as ducks, rabbits, goats, chickens, and even a mini-horse. Burgers and hot dogs were cooking on the grill and there was even an opportunity to drop Paul Dean, chief of the UNH Police, into a dunk tank.  Dean sat on the dunk tank bench and heckled students.
“My cat can throw better than that,” Dean said after a student missed.
“We’re here to raise awareness for hunger,” Dean said. All of the proceeds from the dunk tank went to the Waysmeet Center, which is an organization in Durham that helps provide food to people in need.
“This is what being a Wildcat is all about, giving back to the community,” Dean said before a group of students began trying to dunk him again. Every $1 donation allowed for three attempts to knock Dean off his seat and into the water.
Many students huddled around the animals that McDonny’s Traveling Farm had brought for more entertainment.
McDonny’s Traveling Farm is a mobile petting zoo located in Derry. A few years ago, UNH became the first college to which McDonny’s brought animals.
As the day progressed, different waves of students would come by in between their classes to enjoy the festivities that the Gables managers had provided. With the high temperature and occasional breeze, the day was ideal for a cookout.
Stephen Rivard, the Gables apartment manager, was one of the head organizers of the Gables block party with the intentions of having fun outdoors and raising money for charity.
“It’s a great event for building community early,” Rivard said as he greeted students arriving to the event. “We can interact with students positively.”
“It’s a great cause with the largest community out for a day of afternoon fun,” Dean said.
With the large turn out for the Gables Block Party, it was deemed a success. Students flocked to the petting zoo to check out the animals, money was donated to help out with local charities, and the Gables staff was able to bring their community together in a positive way to kick off the year.