The 9th Annual Back-to-School Health and Family Festival, one of the largest ‘Back To School’ giveaway events in the United States, sponsored by Mothers In Action and the Brotherhood Crusade, kicked-off promptly at 10:00 a.m., last Saturday at Jesse Brewer Park in the Exposition Park area of Los Angeles and delivered more than school supplies, and health and wellness information and health-screening to the hundreds of visitors who participated. Entertainment, free food and refreshments, train rides and carnival games were also available to entertain the entire family.
Serving children ages five to 15 with free health screenings, immunizations, hair cuts and school supplies, the day-long, back-to-school festival provided a fitting end-of-summer event filled with not only back to school necessities but also featured dancing, live entertainment and food.
Angie Stone, celebrated R&B recording artist who recently became the spokesperson for Mothers In Action’s national ‘Respect Me’ Campaign said. “I am blessed to have had the good sense to finish and to do well in school. There is no other way to tackle the world and the challenges it will present in your life OR to have the confidence to follow your dreams without the foundation of a good education.”
Dedicated to improving the quality of life for our children and our community, Mothers In Action and the Brotherhood Crusade were joined by a host of volunteers, co-sponsors, and supporters, including Wal-Mart, V100 Radio Station FM 100.3, the Los Angeles Sentinel, The Bakewell Family Foundation, the Brotherhood Development and Capital Fund, California Endowment, Care 1st Health Plan, Colgate Bright Smiles.
From the free school supplies provided by Wal-Mart to the health and wellness information and screening provided by Care 1st Health Plan, Colgate Bright Smiles, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, and others, the festival was designed to help prepare young people a new school year which begins next week.
California State Assemblyman Mike Davis participated in this year’s annual event and he, along with members of his staff, were on-hand to greet the young people as well as their parents and offered his encouragement for a successful school year.
“I think preparing for a successful school year is one of the most important things we can do for our young people.” Davis said. “I wanted to be a part of getting our kids ready for school because, ultimately, it is one of the best things we can do for our community.”
In addition to Davis’ participation, a number of other elected officials supported the festival including; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, California State Assemblyman Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Los Angeles City Council members Bernard Parks, Jan Perry and Herb Wesson.
Additional Sponsors and exhibitors include 100 Black Men, 101 Enterprises, Avery Dennison, the City of Los Angeles Public Works/Public Affairs and Bureau of Sanitation, Clean and Green, Crescendo Charter School, Drug Free Marshal, Green Dot Public Schools, H. Claude Hudson, Hammond Financial, Havin Fun Parties, Healthy Dogs, Hillsman Center, His Sheltering Arms, Hubert Humphrey Medical Center, MLK Harbor Medical Center, and the Los Angeles County Health and Public Health Investigation Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, Memorial Hospital of Gardena, Money Gram and NIX Check Cashing, the MTA, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, PAVA, Rescatando Salud, SLAP-WIC, the St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, the Gas Company, the USC School of Dentistry, and Washington Mutual.
The festival could not have been such a success without the support of the dozens of volunteers from the Brotherhood Crusade, Mothers In Action and many of the organizations they support.
Fannie Upshaw, Community Resources Specialist with His Sheltering Arms said. “As a member of Mothers In Action and a sponsored agency of the Brotherhood Crusade, our volunteers and our support is our way of ‘giving-back’ and helping our community, which is what both of the sponsoring organizations is all about.” Mothers In Action member Gladys Wesson-Strickland added. “Supporting our community is what we do. Whatever the community needs, Mothers In Action is always willing to do anything that will support our kids.” Organization president Brenda Marsh-Mitchell concluded. “I am very pleased with this year’s festival. We were able to help young people prepare for a successful school year and we found children who could not see and others who cannot hear. I am delighted that we were able to help so many young people with today’s event.”