Maywood Clerk Viola Mims, far left, talks with Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., far right, and Anthony Williams, Chamber of Commerce chairman and owner of Meal of the Day Cafe, during last year’s Village Wide Village Pride event. | File
March 30, 2016 || By Michael Romain
At a March 29 meeting held to discuss the proposed FY 2016-17 budget, members of the Maywood Board of Trustees proposed bringing back Maywood Fest, the once popular annual village-wide event that’s been defunct for the last several years.
There was no discussion about specifics, such as target dates for when the fest would happen; however, the board was in general agreement that the event should be brought back soon.
The possibility of revitalizing the fest was broached during a discussion about the village’s special events commission, which has been inactive for the duration of Mayor Edwenna Perkins’s term. The mayor said she’s had a difficult time recruiting volunteers to sit on the commission.
Several trustees, however, suggested that an ad hoc fest committee could be sufficient for the purpose of planning the event, with each trustee appointing a representative to sit on the planning body.
“I am interested in having [the fest],” said Trustee Antoinette Dorris. “About six years ago, I know it cost us about $24,000 to $30,000, give or take … This is no slight to the turkey giveaway, Bataan Day, the employee party, Safe Summer or the Old Timers Picnic, but I think that, while these are great, they’re not hitting the entire village. We’ve gone three years now and have not had anything.”
Maywood Village Manager Willie Norfleet, Jr., said that village staff could add $20,000 to the budget down the line for the purposes of revitalizing the fest. He then upped that amount to $30,000 at the direction of Dorris. Trustee Michael Rogers, however, noted that the amount could be “a bit much.”
Considering that there was no money allocated for the event in the proposed budget that was presented on March 29, the additional funds for the fest would either have to be written into the proposed budget before the board approves the final version or added later through a budget amendment.
Village Wide, Village Pride Sets Sights Higher This Year
The Environmental Beautification Commission is looking for team captains and sponsors for its annual Village Wide, Village Pride event, which will take place Saturday, April 23, from 9 AM to 12 PM. The group will meet outside of the ReUse Depot, 50 Madison St., and convene there when the cleanup finishes.
Commission member Loretta Brown said that the commission is looking to build on the success of the first event, which attracted hundreds of volunteers that were broken up into groups and sent out across the village with rakes, brooms and garbage bags to cleanup certain litter hotspots.
This year, Brown said, the focus has expanded from merely cleaning up the village to initiating various beautification projects throughout the village that the commission hopes will last for “more than a couple of days.” Those projects could include planting flowers, painting structures and “creating focal points of beauty.”
The commission is calling on local businesses, churches, community agencies and governmental bodies to sponsor the event. Brown and Laura Lange, the commission’s chairperson, noted at a March 9 meeting that they’re looking for funds to purchase banners, yard signs, t-shirts, water, flyers, flower beds and other supplies.
The commissioners said this year, they’d like the event to saturate the town.
“Make a commitment to spruce up your own area,” said Brown. “Businesses want to move into a place where people take pride.”
For more information, contact Brown at email@example.com or 708-865-8028. VFP
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