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Come Together Gets Props in City Council

Smiles all round from Cops4Kids

By Michael Buss, 2012-10-24
I didn’t have to say it. To be in the City Council Chamber on Tuesday October 23rd was to hear one speaker after another say how wonderful was the Come Together Fair (see our last newsletter) on October 13th. It was a remarkable day indeed. The day was peaceful, the stage provided a stunning array of music and dance numbers, all excellently compèred by Brookhurst drama teacher Autumn Browne, with translation by Juan from the Church of Power.

Art everywhere

Everywhere kids were doing arts projects, adults painted, families linked up with some of the best known non-profits organizations, people stuffed their faces with hot dogs, counselors counseled, Christians prayed with those who needed prayer, the homeless were welcomed with gifts of food, clothing; families who are usually spread out across the town got to meet up. And of course the weather was perfect.

A poignant moment came when Theresa Smith, whose urgent plea at a City Council meeting was fulfilled this day came on to the stage with other mothers who had lost family members in street shootings. Theresa thanked everyone for coming. Then Nathan Zug and David Lazo prayed with the mothers while a hush descended on the crowd. Then, right on cue, the music to Lean on Me swept across the park and Liza Zaradich took up the solo backed by Fuel the Fire. People linked hands and swayed with the music. It was a good moment.

This was a day when the community helped to serve the needs of the community.

Intently watching the dancing

And for saying it was put together in a mere nine weeks is a tribute to those who made up the organizing committee. It is right to mention names here. Richard Olquin is not one to seek the limelight, but he drove the agenda through like few I have ever seen, and worked tirelessly to pull all the strings together along with Joseph Cardenas and Theresa Smith from LEAN. Staff from The City Manager’s office and Community Services provided tremendous help and support. Pastors David Lazo and Nathan Zug volunteered their young workers, fixed food, provided musicians and musical equipment. And the Anaheim Arts Council put together the entire stage program and visual arts program.

On stage were: Breakthrough (teens blues band), Fuel the Fire and In The Silence – groups from The Church of Power and Magnolia Baptist Church. Sarah Andersen brought her show choir from Kennedy High School. The Chance Theatre provided their very best singers – every one of them Broadway quality. RYTMO (Reaching Youth Through Music) came with some great teen vocalists, Anaheim Ballet danced a Pas de Trois, and we reveled in the Bob Family Cloggers, folkloric dancing from Project SAY and flamenco dancing from Naranjito Flamenco. Stage manager was Amanda Petrocelly. Sound by Will Blount.

The Bon Family Cloggers

Lastly but by no means least was the great support received from the business community. They provided gifts in kind for publicity and printing, free flats of water, and several thousand dollars to underwrite the costs of the event. Disney covered the arts supplies and sent along an artist to teach kids how to draw the famous Disney characters.

Unless we forget, the Anaheim PD was represented though its COPS4KIDS program and the Police Explorers. The Fire Brigade brought a truck and a mobile clinic rendered real aid to those who needed it. So what about next year? My guess is it will happen! Watch this space.



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