Each January, the City of Chandler holds a series of events to honor our community’s heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.
To kick off the month long event, on Saturday, January 12, the screening of the critically acclaimed film Power of One will occur. The film portrays the story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. Winton, now 102 years old, did not speak about these events with anyone for more than half a century. His exploits would have probably been forgotten if his wife, fifty years later, hadn’t found a suitcase in the attic, full of documents and transport plans. Today the story of this rescue is known all over the world.
The following weekend, on Friday, January 18, New Directions Veteran’s Choir will grace our stage. The New Directions Veterans Choir is an award winning a cappella group that sings renditions of doo-wop, soul, traditional gospel and popular music. The Choir consists of current and former residents of New Directions’ transitional facility, a Veterans Administration (VA) drug rehabilitation program. These men and women who have served proudly in the United States Military and following service to our country, became homeless. George Hill, choir founder and director, was homeless for 12 years. A graduate of New Directions, Hill is also an employee at the West Los Angeles Veterans Administration. “Through singing,” George says, “we hope to let veterans who may be suffering know that there is hope for them.”
The next day, Saturday, January 19, Chandler’s 18th Annual Multicultural Festival will highlight the cultural diversity of our community through music, dance, art, storytelling children’s area and more. This is a FREE event open to the public.
The celebration concludes, on Sunday, January 20, with riveting rhythms, bold beats and ear-grabbing energy, in the show DRUMLine Live. This is an international tour based on the Historically Black College and University marching band tradition. The staged show will be a synchronized musical showcase of the HBCU experience. The group’s performances will range from colorful, choreographed routines to heavy doses of drum riffs and cadences with the rousing sound of the great brass tradition.
Let’s all come together this month and celebrate unity. To learn more or to purchase tickets for any of these incredible events, please click here.
Usually when I blog, I try to add in some humor or sassy comment to keep you engaged, but I don’t think I can do that today.
Yesterday we announced that we would be participating in the City of Chandler’s food drive and offering anyone who dropped off food during Sleeping Beauty a chance to win two tickets to see The Nutcracker.
Even if you don’t like ballet, please give us a hand, and drop off some non-perishable food that you’ve had in your pantry but don’t plan on eating. Trust me, we’ll find someone who wants it.
In Arizona, over 800,000 people ( 1 in 7) are living in poverty, and that number is growing. Since the recession, people have had to make choices like, “What gets paid this month, rent or electricity?” or “Can I start eating less to keep the AC running so my kids don’t get heat stroke?”
I’ve known plenty of people in these situations, and they aren’t looking for a hand out, but a way out. If accepting help from the food bank means that all bills are paid in full and they can start getting ahead, then that’s what has to be done. But with more and more people needing help, there is enormous strain on the food banks to help people improve their situations.
Plus, school is almost out. For some kids, that means that the assurance of two meals a day (free or reduced breakfast and lunch) is going away for a few months, so the food banks will have to step in and help make sure these kids get the nutrition they need to start school in the fall healthy and ready to learn.
This is where we come in. If you happen to be anywhere in Chandler and know that you can drop off a pack of juice boxes or a box of granola, please do so. Here is a list of places that you can drop off food, including CCA. Of course, we’d love to see you this weekend at Sleeping Beauty so you can enter the raffle, but really, we just hope to see the community step in and help their neighbors.