A Stone Soul thank you
The origins of the Stone Soul Festival began at Forest Park in 1989; the African American community came together for a Stone Soul Picnic. The response was unbelievable; we had every table in the park.
The second Stone Soul Picnic was also at Forest Park. In honor of our origin and to honor Everett Barney who donated a substantial piece of land to the city and citizens of Springfield. Everett Barney loved this city and this region. In his name we have established the Everett Barney Award. This year's recipients reflect his philanthropic and social profile. Hampden County Sheriff, Michael Ashe; MassMutual Community Relations Director, Nicholas A. Fyntrilakis and the peoples Mayor, Domenic Sarno. They are worthy of the honor. Ms. Danita Wilson coordinated this activity.
We want to thank Organix Soul for finding outstanding entertainment for the festival: Tre' Williams /Revelation and Shameka Brice. Thank you.
We were blessed with three days and nights of New England's finest weather. Each year the festival brings together the great talent, taste and tribute of the African American community. The festival has expanded to embrace the diversity of the Springfield's Hispanic and Angelo residents. We know we all have soul.
We want to thank the youth/teens of Springfield for their great behavior (there were thousands of them!). They recognized the significance of this event. They had grandmothers, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, and multi generations at the festival; they know this is theirs. We thank you for your talent, hard work and understanding. Thank you again.
We had many new partners this year: the Mason Square Health Task Force spearheaded by the Dunbar Community Center and Martin Luther King Community Center in collaboration with Stone Soul to create Health Awareness Team in the Mason Square area. Stone Soul is creating a card caring membership, please contact Old Hill Neighborhood Council at 736-4575 ask for Bobby Rentas. We also collaborated with Springfield Health and Human Service Mass Call II Opioid Overdose Prevention Program you will be hearing more about them.
We have joined in collaboration with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, UMASS Fine Arts Center and CHNA#4 to sponsor a talent show to allow youth and young adults to display their artistic gifts in song, dance, music and spoken word.
Springfield Symphony Orchestra Executive Director, Michael Jonnes was a judge along with Frances Hubbard of CHNA#4 also a talent show supporter. The talent show appealed to all.
We want to especially thank Baystate Health Systems and Springfield Health and Human Services for support with three-day entertainment, security, and a fantastic health fair with more than 50 health/social service vendors.
We want to give a Stone Soul thank you to the Northern Educational Service, Martin Luther King Community Center, South End, Family Center, Dunbar Community Center, Urban League, collaboration with Talent Teens, they put on a show.
The Stone Soul Festival committee wants to thank Community Foundation of Western Mass., Springfield Cultural Council, Community Health Network Area #4, United Bank, and Springfield Symphony Orchestra for their support. Springfield Parks and Recreation under the direction of Pat Sullivan. Deryk Roach did an outstanding job of logistical support of, before, during and after the festival.
Stone Soul sends thanks to Robert Cee Jackson and Jackson Security for an outstanding job maintaining the safety and direction of festival participants.
This year exceeded all attendance records of past years. We had our biggest Friday, Saturday and Sunday attendance with over 20,000 people during the three-day period.
We want to thank Carl Yates and Bassette Printers for our 21st Anniversary Booklet. We still have some available at 739-2947.
We are recruiting for next year, Sept, 3, 4 and 5, 2010. Join us for next year's celebration, together we can take the festival to another level.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Stone Soul Committee