Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair at Garden Hills

Neighborhood Services Department, in partnership with the Champaign Unit 4 Schools’ Title 1 Program, Community Matters, the United Garden Hills Neighborhood Association, and the Champaign Police Department entertained and educated approximately 500 patrons on Monday May 19th at the Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair held at Garden Hills Elementary School.

Outside, 60 children participated in the bike rodeo, sponsored by the MTD C-U Safe Routes to School Project with assistance provided from several Neighborhood Services Department staff members. The children were given a chance to win a bicycle helmet donated by Bell Sports in Rantoul and 25 helmets were given away to children of all ages.  Additionally, MTD gave out stickers and flashing lights.  Home Depot sent 6 volunteers to help children and adults build miniature tool boxes and flower pots.  On the Champaign Park District’s Showmobile stage, the CUperStars performed various acts to entertain the audience.  The Champaign Police Department was present with their bomb robot and SWAT truck, allowing individuals to get an inside look at the operation of the SWAT team.  The United Garden Hills Neighborhood Association provided snow cones and popcorn for snacks outside.

Inside, Audrey Mock of Unit 4 Schools’ Title 1 Program organized a vendor fair to provide attendees with information on summer camps, youth employment, dental health, adult education, domestic violence awareness, and other resources that families could use.  More than 20 vendors participated in the event.  As part of the vendor fair, Joe Lewis, Rehabilitation Technician for the City of Champaign, provided information on home maintenance activities, lead based paint hazards, and radon hazards.  He provided a “Home Safety Checklist” to participants.  David Oliver, Code Compliance Manager and Mya Clements, Secretary staffed the Neighborhood Services table and provided information regarding housing and nuisance code violations, organizing neighborhood groups, and housing rehabilitation programs.  The two also had tenant inspection request forms available onsite for any attendees who may have wanted any issues with their rental units to be addressed by their landlords.  CommUnity Matters partners participated in the vendor fair, using the event as an opportunity to sign children up for the summer day camps being offered.

The evening included free pizza, chips and drinks for all attendees.  Kerri Spear, Neighborhood Programs Manager, and Nina Sibley, Administrative Assistant, worked with several Operation Hope Students to help serve food.

The United Garden Hills Neighborhood Association (UGHNA) held their monthly meeting in the school cafeteria immediately following the Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair.  One of the goals of the event was to help boost participation in the neighborhood group, and there were several new attendees to the UGHNA meeting as a result.  All in all, the event was a huge success.

Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair participants  Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair participants

Community Resource and Spring Fling Fair participants