On Saturday, August 27th, Alderman Michael Chandler, The North Lawndale Newspaper, and the New Genesis Pastors Alliance partnered up to bring fun and excitement to North Lawndale by way of the Taste of North Lawndale which was a back to school event for the children and community. Over 1000 people of the West side community came together to enjoy the festivities of the Taste of North Lawndale, where food was given away along with school supplies for children who were going back to school all throughout Douglas Park on the corner of Ogden and Sacramento. Local community leaders took time to come out and enjoy the fun with community. Amongst the local leaders who attended the event were Congressman Danny Davis, Alderman Michael Chandler, Representative Arthur Turner Jr. and Patricia Van Pelt- Watkins who is exploring running for Senate for the 5th district. Children spoke out in excitement about the event while the parents enjoyed the peaceful event, ate, and watched the stage performances.
The children enjoyed themselves while horse back riding and jumped up and down on the blues clues jumping bag. Many children spoke out about the importance of events like the Taste of North Lawndale being consistent in the North Lawndale area. Eight year old Aniyah Gates said "I got a princess book bag, a ruler, a pencil, and some bracelets, I had so much fun today." While 13 year old Tiana Easton said that the most important part about her involvement with the Taste of North Lawndale was passing out flyers, she said "It made me feel like a leader, I like to help out---we should have more events like this." Tiana said that the papers that she passed out was information about the school that she goes to in order to recruit children to attend her school. There was so much for the children to do at this event, but according to many parents who attended the event, the most important part about it was that it remained very peaceful and the children enjoyed themselves.
Aaron Allen a 62 year old long time resident of the North Lawndale area, said "One of the greatest things that I seen today is that the park is full and that people are all getting along in a peaceful manner." There were community members, leaders, and business owners alike connecting and networking with one another all in a peaceful united way. State Farm Agent Darren Tillis was amongst the crowd promoting the benefits of financial literacy, car and life insurance. While Promoter Marcus "Chizm" Betts connected with the community making them aware of his upcoming comedy show that will take place on October 15th, to start off the fall season. Congressman Davis ate ice cream with the children, laughed and congregated with community members and right by his side stood Alderman Michael Chandler allowing his community to know that he is accessible to them. The event was organized and free to the community and is only one more link to building unity in the community of in North Lawndale.
The North Lawndale Community News would like to thank the sponsors of the Taste Of North Lawndale for their great support. It is because of people like you who care that allow the youth to grow peacefully and progressively!