14th Street Fest goes well, fundraising continues


The 14th Street Community Center recently held its Annual Soul Food and Music Fest with great success, feeding nearly 200 people and welcoming even more than that for a day of kinship, music, and celebration.

The event is the largest fundraising attempt made by the board each year and funds the annual budgetary needs that make programming possible, from adult workshops to youth activities.

“It went great. We were so happy with how everything turned out. We had 200 plus attendees. A lot of people came and took the food to go, but a lot more stayed for the music, despite the wind. The food was amazing, as we all knew it would be, and the music was a hit,” 14th Street Community Center Board member Sarah Redoutey said.

While the group focuses on the fundraising side of things, the only thing that they charge for is the food. The music and entertainment is all free, which the board finds important.

“We definitely had a lot of kids who came over, along with other people from the neighborhood, who just hung out and listened to music,” Redoutey said. “Most did buy ticket, but it is important to have options, because not everyone can afford a meal ticket. We understand that and try to accommodate them. It is not only about fundraising; it is about culture, and heritage, and community— sharing fellowship time. We don’t want finances to be a burden on anyone and want there to be options.”

Music is half the day and Redoutey said the bands did not disappoint. Boneyfiddle Project donated their stage and Automania donated sound. The outdoor music brought a lot of people out to celebrate the center and to enjoy a day of community.

“I was pretty blown away,” Redoutey said. “Our headliners did fantastic. Mikey Mike is always excellent and Townfolk, well, I just loved their vibe. People were dancing, sitting in lawn chairs, and just really enjoyed themselves this year.”

The food is the other half of things and Redoutey said that Kay Barlow and her group of volunteers blew everyone away with “Hometown Cooking for Hometown Folks.”

The final numbers for the fundraising haven’t been released, because the group has decided to extend the membership portion of the event throughout October.

Membership levels include Bronze, $1,000; Silver, $2,500; Gold, $5,000; and Platinum, $10,000.

The group explained that “By contributing to the 14th Street Community Center, you will support a community legacy that began in 1931. Your donation will help provide quality education programs, nutritious meals, lasting friendships, and community bonding.”

The 14th Street Community Center hosts a myriad of programming for adults and children alike. More information can be found at www.14streetcc.org.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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