The Oak Street Block Party is back for the second year running to provide fun, food and entertainment for the community and to benefit two valued local organizations. The Family Refuge Center (FRC) and the Greenbrier County Committee on Aging (GCCOA) will be the recipients of all donations and proceeds made during this fun-filled event. The whole community is invited to attend the block party located along Oak Street in Lewisburg on Saturday, July 30, starting at 10 a.m.
With grant funding being cut every year, financial support is severely needed for these nonprofit organizations whose programs directly aid and improve the lives of many Greenbrier citizens.
“The Family Refuge Center is always honored when the community comes together to support our organization,” said Executive Director Kenosha Davenport. “The funds will be used to help us end violence in our community.”
John Wyman, executive director of the GCCOA, stated, “This great event supports two very essential services to area families and senior citizens. As recipient of donations, the funds will go to Meals On Wheels, which provides meals services to home bound Greenbrier County seniors. The Committee on Aging thank the block party organizers for considering us.”
Hosting the event is Larry Baxter, president of the Mount Tabor Baptist Church Men’s Ministry.
“When we first started last year to consider a fundraiser, we talked about our past fundraising efforts. The block party was revived after a 13-year hiatus,” said Baxter. “For the men’s group of the church, getting the community involved was also a way to give back. Even though it’s been a time-consuming project, it’s been worth it knowing these two nonprofit organizations are benefiting from it.”
A wide array of entertainment for the whole family is in store, most prominently the water slides, which were a big hit at last year’s block party. A bounce house, an obstacle course, and a dunk booth (featuring local celebrated athlete, Bimbo Coles) are some of the entertainment planned for the day. A silent auction will also be a popular attraction not to miss, in which up to 50 community businesses have contributed many valuable items and gift certificates in support of funding the FRC and GCCOA.
Along with the entertainment, there will be plenty of food options to tempt the cravings of the hungry crowd; pulled pork, fish dinners, hamburgers, hot dogs, and baked goods will be offered for sale as well.
DJs will provide music all day and then around 6-7 p.m., special guest, Marshall Petty, will be playing jazz tunes on his saxophone with his band, The Groove, well into the night for the enjoyment of the gathering. Petty, who studied music at Bluefield College, has early roots in Lewisburg where his father was once the pastor at Mount Tabor Baptist Church. Petty has traveled extensively performing across the U.S., including playing the background saxophonist with James Brown. Most of Petty’s gigs with his band mates are private parties, but sometimes they have taken on some really big events, like the time President Barack Obama first came to Charleston, and The Groove was asked to perform. Petty now performs regularly in West Virginia and is thrilled to join the block party for this special occasion.
The block party concept was revived as a fun fundraiser after a lapse of 13 years by Baxter and Mount Tabor Baptist Church Men’s Ministry. Now, in its second year, Baxter is looking forward to another successful funding event in support of two worthy causes, and an opportunity for the community to come together. After the county’s harrowing month of flood news, this is sure to be a welcomed treat.