By Dylan Deprey
While walking towards the Mary Ryan Boys and Girls Club in Sherman Park, the slight thumps of bass echoed in the distance.
The sun finally showed itself. Summer finally arrived after weeks of playing hide and seek with spring.
A 3-on-3 tournament was underway as the rustling over a basketball resulted in a screeching whistle blow and yell from the crowd.
While deciding to take a possible ride on a refurbished bike from the Boys and Girls Club’s annual bike sale, a white tent sat in the distance.
The animal inspired balloon hat was the fashion choice for many individuals during WNOV 860’s Community Resource Fair on Sunday, May 22.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” Douglas Kelley, director of sales at WNOV said.
Families from around the area soaked up the sun while learning about the different opportunities Milwaukee had to offer.
In a circus like fashion outside of the tent, children got their faces painted and others had caricature portraits. As for the adults, the main event was under the huge tent shading the 28 resource vendors from the beaming sun.
There was a pamphlet for everything. From education and healthcare to finances and insurance, it all was all under one roof.
The sounds of Rihanna and Beyonce were replaced by frequent announcements made throughout the day of those at booths describing what they offered.
Jennifer Washington-McMurry from the American Cancer Society was advocating for members of the community to get their cancer screenings as well as attend future events for the American Cancer Society.
“The best prevention is early detection,” Washington-McMurry said.
Sitting kiddie-corner to the American Cancer Society were nurses from Milwaukee Health Services. They described the types of care patients can get as well as their locations throughout Milwaukee.
When walking around the level of communication under the tent was constant with questions about insurance at the AARP booth and banking questions at the Guaranty Bank booth.
Over in the corner, the question, “Are you a father?” came from the My Father’s House Inc. This Milwaukee based initiative helps fathers, both court ordered and self initiated, by providing parenting classes, counseling, supervised visits and many other services.
Near the end of the rectangular circuit of resources was the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI). This group works with people with special needs throughout their entire lifespan. Alvin Hill Jr., director of diversity and cultural competence, explained MCFI’s other services.
“It’s a diversity of services we have to serve the community,” Hill said. “We provide people freedom.” Hill noted while MCFI has been around for 78 years, the organization is still a well-kept secret throughout the community.
“There have been some people today saying ‘I’ve never heard of you; what are your services?’ and it’s been great, and that is why I’m here,” Hill said.
As the director of diversity, Hill said there was no other place he and the organization would have rather been then out in the community.
“I want to be there and say we want a diverse workforce, because we have a diverse population,” Hill said.