Too many events offer hope but no follow-up, but not this one, the organizer said.
By ROGER G. SMITH
CITY HALL REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The way Tracey S.M. Winbush figures it, the party can't end at 10 a.m. Friday.
In fact, this party will just be getting started when national radio personality Tom Joyner finishes his live broadcast from Powers Auditorium Friday morning.
A weekend-long series of events focusing on health, education and ministry are planned in the city to complement the event.
"It's called unity," said Winbush, the general sales manager at WRBP-FM 102 JAMZ, who is organizing the events.
She calls the events "Party with a Purpose: Spirituality, Wellness and Education."
The events are an extension of Joyner's mission. Joyner emphasizes education, health and voter registration to his mainly black audience of 8 million listeners, especially when he takes his "Sky Show" on the road one Friday a week. He calls the events "Parties with A Purpose."
Too many events offer hope but no follow-up, Winbush said.
Instead, the radio station has put together a series of events focused on issues that are central to Youngstown, she said. There's at least something that should appeal to everyone, she said.
* Proceeds from a VIP luncheon after the show will go in part to the Youngstown Area Urban League. The goal is to raise money for college scholarships for minorities.
* Physical fitness and health are issues, so there will be a 5K run and health screenings Saturday.
* An economic exposition Saturday is the place for anyone who needs help to qualify for jobs related to the massive city school construction project.
* Religion is another staple of life in Youngstown, so a citywide service is planned Sunday morning.
Winbush is hoping that at least 1,500 people pass through the events during the weekend.
Joyner usually travels to cities when they're in the midst of annual events. In this case, the events are being created around the show.
Winbush hopes Joyner and his show pick up on that and broadcast to the nation a positive view of the city that can create a wave of pride that will only swell.
That's why she doesn't expect this weekend of such events to be the last.
"It's the beginning. This can't be the last time we do something like this, of this magnitude," she said. "We need something. We need things to do, places to go, things to invite people to. We need a life."