Last Saturday, San Bernardino's Seccombe Lake Park was alive with the sounds of Mariachi, rap and jazz as the Youth Action Project (YAP) hosted its first Unity Festival in honor of Cesar Chavez Day.
Multicultural food and craft vendors provided flavor and color while local businesses and community partners provided resource information to the more than 300 attendees. The "Kids Corner" included games and prizes, a clown and face painting to the delight of the younger set. Showing their support of the event and YAP were 1st Ward Council member Ester Estrada; 5th District Supervisor Josie Gonzales and Fontana Mayor Pro Tem Aquanetta Warren who all welcomed the crowd.
National Day of Service
The Youth Action Project "Event Team" has been hard at work planning this event for months, distributing flyers, securing sponsors, entertainers and vendors. However, the most critical part of getting this event from "concept" to "presentation" was the park clean up YAP organized on March 28, the Friday prior to the event.
More than 60 volunteers turned out to assist YAP with the park clean up, including some of the homeless who call Seccombe Lake Park home. "Many of our YAP members live in and around down town San Bernardino and visit the park from time to time," said Joseph Williams, CEO of YAP. "They think the park is beautiful, but not always safe." During one of their member planning meetings, the members decided they wanted to host the event at the lake in honor of Cesar Chavez, so the one-day event became a two-day event. During the clean up on Friday, YAP provided refreshments for all the volunteers. YAP members plan to adopt the park and will conduct a clean-up activity there once a month.
Established in 1998, The Youth Action Project is a nonprofit organization that offers youth development, career preparation programs and community-based workshops to the youth of the Inland Empire. Partially funded through the California Volunteers through AmeriCorps., YAP committed to hosting two "National Days of Service", with the intent of engaging the citizens of San Bernardino in volunteer activities. Volunteerism is a wonderful way to strengthen the community while teaching valuable skills and life lessons. The Youth Action Project is committed to empowering communities one youth at a time. For additional information on YAP, visit their website at www.youthactionproject.org or, call their downtown San Bernardino offices at (909) 885-6880.
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