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Community, churches gear up for Summerfest

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published July 27, 2015

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WARREN — Summerfest is a beautiful thing, but it wouldn’t be anything without its supporters.

The annual broad-based community outreach — offering groceries, school supplies, bike repair, haircuts, sports physicals and family portraits, among other things — will celebrate its 12th year Aug. 8 at two locations: Underwood Park on Sidonie, east of Schoenherr and south of Topefer, from noon-4 p.m.; and Shaw Park on Warner, south of Nine Mile Road, from 2-6 p.m.

As always, everything is free at Summerfest, hosted by Liberty Family Outreach and supported by the city of Warren, a network of churches and a growing list of businesses.

“This type of unity among churches and businesses is unprecedented in our culture,” said Event Coordinator Katie Miller of Liberty Family Outreach. “It is awesome to experience the dynamic of many diverse groups working side by side to address tangible needs.”

Pastor Terry Frazier, of the Liberty Foursquare Church on 11 Mile Road west of Ryan, founded Summerfest in 2004 with a few dozen members of the church congregation as a way to assist at-risk families.

“We have been coming to south Warren for 12 years now. The families in this community are wonderful people who are facing immense economic challenges,” Frazier said. “Our goal is to let them know that there are people who care about them. We want to impart hope into hopeless situations and support those who feel neglected and abandoned.”

Miller said Summerfest served 11,000 people between both parks last year. She said the number of businesses stepping up to offer donations and volunteers has helped the outreach continue to grow.

“It’s really nice to see some of the local businesses call and say, ‘we want to help you financially, but we want to come serve with you, too,’” Miller said.

Summerfest will feature a petting zoo for the first time this year. While everything there is free, Miller said there will be a no re-entry policy once patrons leave the fest.

“They should make sure they see and do everything they want to do that day while they’re there,” Miller said. “We hope they’ll stay and spend the whole day with us.”

Frazier said a network of churches in Warren and Macomb County work together monthly to develop strategies aimed at meeting the needs of the community.

The Taste of Hope Auction & Tastefest, held in March and hosted by Liberty Family Outreach in the atrium of Warren’s City Hall, is the main fundraiser for Summerfest.

For more information, visit www.warrensummerfest.com or call (586) 754-2400.

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