Mt. Vernon Register-News

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February 21, 2014

Family Center plans Black History Month celebration

MT. VERNON — The Southtown Family Center will hold its annual Black History Month celebration at 6 p.m. Monday at the center’s Mt. Vernon location, 1108 S. 15th St.

Organizers say the event is meant to bring the community together for an evening of food, fun and fellowship. The celebration is free and open to the public.

Monday’s gathering will include a soul food dinner and a game of “The Price is Right,” featuring prizes such as bikes, a flat-screen TV, a microwave, cash and more.

“We want families to come, individuals to come. It’s open to the entire community,” said Rev. James Gordon, director of the center. “It’s getting an opportunity for people to come together with no set agenda. It’s all about coming together, having some good food, and having some fun.”

The Southtown Youth Programs Family Advocacy Center is a local nonprofit agency that seeks to “make families strong and keep families strong,” Gordon said. It was founded in 1987.

In the past, the organization helped establish the Southside Ministerial Alliance, a crime prevention initiative, as well as the Minority Business Association.

Gordon said the center’s annual Black History Month celebration has existed in its current format for about seven years.

Attendance can fluctuate from year to year, but in 2013 roughly 150 people came to the event, Gordon said.

Last year, those in attendance played “Family Feud” and everyone had a great time, Gordon said.

“(It) was hilarious,” Gordon said.

With this year’s game being “The Price is Right,” Gordon said he’s confident Monday’s celebration will be equally enjoyable.

“Everybody will just have a blast. It’s going to be fun,” Gordon said.

“The Price is Right” game will be open to those who are 16 and older.

When people come to the event, their names will be submitted for consideration for the game. Then, some of these names will be called later that evening to play “The Price is Right.”

Gordon said celebrating Black History Month in this manner is important.

In years past, when times were tough, people could always find “strength and encouragement” by joining together for an evening of fellowship, he said. The center’s Black History Month celebration helps continue this tradition, he said.

For more information on the event or the Family Center, contact the organization at 242-4077.

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