Nearly 5,000 people attended the first food truck rally to benefit West Bloomfield Youth Assistance, organizers estimate.

Nearly 5,000 people attended the first food truck rally to benefit West Bloomfield Youth Assistance, organizers estimate.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield Deputy Police Chief Curt Lawson


Second annual food truck rally for West Bloomfield Youth Assistance to return June 7

By: Tiffany Esshaki | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published May 17, 2019

 Younger rallygoers can enjoy a children’s area with bounce houses and other goodies.

Younger rallygoers can enjoy a children’s area with bounce houses and other goodies.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield Deputy Police Chief Curt Lawson

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — This time last year, West Bloomfield Youth Assistance hosted its first food truck rally fundraiser, but it was really more of a trial run to show the community that a large-scale foodie-friendly festival could be done.

Raising money for WBYA was just a bonus.

Now, West Bloomfield Deputy Police Chief Curt Lawson said the second annual food truck rally to benefit WBYA is going to be bigger and better to raise some serious dough to help students in the community.

“At our first rally, our whole goal was to get it right. We wanted to show the business owners we could do a first-class event. We did. It was a huge hit. Nearly 5,000 people came out,” said Lawson, a WBYA board member. “So this year we’ve got more food trucks. We’ve brought in even bigger talent.”

The rally will be held June 7 at Orchard Mall, and while there’s parking on-site, the West Bloomfield Optimist Club and Lafontaine Subaru have donated shuttle services to transport people from parking at Orchard Lake Middle School to the rally space.

Once guests arrive, they can enjoy live music from Steve Acho, of Spotify fame, and Byron in Motion, along with bounce houses, a dunk tank, a photo booth, and a beer and wine tent for the older crowd.

There will be plenty to do, but there will be even more to eat.

“It was a lot of work to get all these trucks,” said Detective Katie Roshirt, also on the WBYA board. “Last year we had 12 trucks, and a majority of them have come back for a second year. But we had so many people we had to expand it, because the lines were pretty long.”

Lawson said at least 20 food trucks have signed on to be part of this year’s rally, so there will truly be something for every palate.

All of the proceeds from activities and donations at the door will go directly to WBYA, which provides services to families throughout the greater West Bloomfield area.

“You know, if we have a truant student or a student in trouble for drugs, alcohol, vaping, incorrigibility, we try to push them over to a youth assistance caseworker instead of the justice system. We get them back on the right track, and off they go,” Lawson said. “We also have a mentoring program, scholarships, recognition awards for students that go above and beyond. There’s also ‘Parenting on the Go’ videos that are about four or five minutes long from professionals explaining how to deal with various issues raising teenagers.”

Lawson is still looking for volunteers to help make the food truck rally run smoothly; those interested can contact him at clawson@wb    police.org.

The second annual food truck rally to benefit West Bloomfield Youth Assistance will be held 5-9:30 p.m. Friday, June 7. Admission will cost a suggested donation of $5 per family.

Orchard Mall is located at 6445 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield Township.

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