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July 31, 2013

Summerfest turns 10 as needs remain ‘huge’

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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Summerfest has grown throughout 10 years while providing needed goods and services to residents in south Warren.

WARREN — It’s been 10 years since the Summerfest outreach was founded, and while the event has blossomed through generous support, the needs in the community haven’t waned.

“The need is just huge. It’s overwhelming,” said Katie Miller, program coordinator for Liberty Family Outreach, which founded the event 10 years ago to provide needed goods and services to residents in south Warren.

Miller said Summerfest will again be held at two locations this year, both on Aug. 10: noon-4 p.m. at Underwood Park, on Sidonie, south of Toepfer and east of Schoenherr; and 1-6 p.m. at Shaw Park, on Warner, east of Dequindre and south of Nine Mile Road.

Organizers expect to deliver 1,000 boxes of groceries and another 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. Free services will include sports physicals, kids’ haircuts, family photos and bike repairs.

“It’s quite a milestone for us. We never dreamed when we started this 10 years ago that it would grow into what it is today,” said Terry Frazier, pastor of Liberty Foursquare Church in Warren, which founded Summerfest.

The event now has the support of the city of Warren, and close to 20 churches and sponsors from throughout Macomb County.

“It’s such a blessing to have the support of so many churches and businesses, and the mayor, people like Henry Bowman in the Parks and Recreation Department, and some of the council members,” Frazier said. “Our goal as a church has never been just to pastor our church, but to pastor our city. We feel Summerfest has grown into that.”

Frazier said that while the needs remain throughout the year in south Warren, Summerfest provides something tangible on an afternoon each August that can resonate long after.

“We bring something right into their own backyard, and it doesn’t cost a dime,” Frazier said. “Our biggest thing is we just want people to know we care about them. They’re special to God, and they’re special to us.”

Miller said this year’s Summerfest program will feature motivational speaker Joseph Jennings, who’ll share his stories about growing up in a family as the oldest of 13 children in a neighborhood beset by drugs and violence.

Those wishing to donate groceries or school supplies can find a list of needed items on the Summerfest website at www.warrensummerfest.com.

Visit the website for more information, or call (586) 754-2400.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.