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Record attendance is anticipated for the 11th Annual Back to School Festival Saturday, August 22 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Back to School Festival Set for Sports Arena
Fabian Wesson and Assemblyman Curren Price Instrumental in securing site for blockbuster Aug. 22 event
By Kenneth Miller
Sentinel Managing Editor
The 14th annual Back-to-School Health & Family Festival, an event that has provided school supplies and medical exams for more than 60,000 children will be held on Saturday Aug. 22 at its new location in front of the Los Angeles Sports Arena thanks to 10th District First Lady, Fabian Wesson and state Senator Curren Price.
“I don’t know what would have happened had it not been for them because we weren’t able to pay for any other venue,” said Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, president of Mothers In Action, one of the sponsors of the event.
Throughout nearly a decade-and-a-half existence, the blockbuster event which provides an abundance free school supplies, medical exams for school age children, many with diabetes, had been held at Exposition Park and Jesse Brewer Park. However, as the economic crunch has affected the main sponsors–the Brotherhood Crusade and Mothers In Action–as well as many local residents, they (the sponsors) could not have afforded the increased fees that the previous locations which would have placed the event in limbo for the first time.
Thanks to the generosity of other sponsors including the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Bakewell Family Foundation, One in Christ Church of Los Angeles and the Office Depot Foundation, the event will take place on schedule. Notwithstanding, the usual large turnout is expected.
Wesson, the wife for Councilman Herb Wesson and Price learned of the plight and began working tirelessly to secure a site for the event that, because of the times, is even more essential this year than in the past.
The event is free to the public while supplies last, and it includes school-books, paper, pack backs, immunization, ear and eye exams, dental exams and medical assistance.
Former professional football star and actor, Brian White, will be on hand as a special guest and he will read to the hundreds of children anticipated to be in attendance. White will be starring in Tyler Perry’s upcoming film “I Can Be Bad All By Myself”.
Parents are urged to bring their children by 10 a.m. to the Sports Arena at 3939 S. Figueroa St. in Los Angeles.
Founded by Danny Bakewell Sr., the late Mary Henry and Johnny Tillman Blackston, Gwen Green, Nola Carter and Mitchell, Mothers In Action is a non-profit organization that has been credited with lifting the self-esteem of children and their parents through their generous ongoing efforts.
Last year’s event drew an estimated 2,000 participants while in others years, the event has attracted crowds as large as 10,000.
Many schools including the Thirty-second Street School, The Danny Bakewell Sr. School, Horace Mann, and schools in Compton, Inglewood and Pasadena have benefited from the donations of the Mothers In Action back-to-school campaign.
Councilmembers Wesson, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry have each provided assistance to make the event a rousing success. Mitchell also credited former Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, in the past, has sponsored the event and Assemblyman Rod Wright who has consistently offered his support.
“We try to equip the children with all the necessary tools to be able to achieve and be successful in school,” added Mitchell.
Chaired by Lillian Mobley, Mothers In Action’s motto is ‘Dedicated to Improving the Quality of Life for Our Children and Our Community.’
For more information, donations and support contact (323) 846-1645 or (323) 299-3800 EXT 250.