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Renaissance to host ‘Fun Day’ Friday

March 13, 2014

BY MARY GARRISON
editor@dailytimesleader.com

The Renaissance: Rebuilding Our Communities organization is doing its part to keep kids active while setting an example in West Point.
From noon to 4 p.m. Friday, at Zuber Park in West Point, the group will host its first ever “Fun in the Park” event, complete with inflatables, games and a cookout for area children — and adults — to enjoy. The free public event will focus not only on bringing West Point’s kids out for a fun day of activity during spring break, but also emphasize the ability of all members of the community to come together toward a common goal.
“We’re hoping this one will be the catalyst,” said Renaissance President Shawn Hannah. “We want the children to see how everyone in the community can come together and have a good time. We just want to do something positive.”
It’s that drive to do something positive that spurred the formation of Renaissance in 2013. Now five board members and 18-20 volunteers strong, Hannah said it was just a natural progression that brought the nonprofit group together in the onset.
“There were just so many different things going on,” Hannah said. “There was a downturn in the city, (and) a lot of people going through professional things, personal things. … We work to try to give people a second chance.”
Hannah said the organization takes that focus to help residents of West Point take opportunities to better their situation by offering mentoring programs and tutorials for both adults and children on a variety of topics. In addition, the group works toward helping individuals in need of such things as school supplies receive the support and materials needed. The group provides regular community forums hosting key informational speakers. The forums, she said, are designed to educate residents on various platforms, such as providing information to parents of students struggling to complete courses in the avenues they can take to help their children achieve and reach graduation.
The board reflects the same variety. Hannah said the Renaissance board is composed of individuals with different strengths to help assist those in need in a number of areas.
“We have different board members who do different things,” Hannah said. “We’ve got a teacher (who can help with educational needs), we’ve got a minister, we’ve got someone who deals specifically with the courts if someone needs help navigating a situation in the legal system. … We tried to shore up any loose ends.”

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