Tag: Beijing

Kite Runner: Why This Maywood Native Wants To Import A Chinese Passion To His Hometown

Screenshot 2014-07-06 at 12.11.11 PM(Valane Spaulding setting up for yesterday’s Family Kite Day at Conner-Heise Memorial Park. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press). 

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LaTrina Spaulding, Tiffney Hughes, Valane Spaulding, LaShaundra Murphy. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press.

Sunday, July 6, 2014 || By Michael Romain

MAYWOOD–When newlyweds Valane and LaTrina Spaulding honeymooned to Beijing this year, the city’s thriving kite-flying culture made such an impression that Valane brought back some of that aerial passion to America–and in particular, Maywood, the place where he grew up.

“There were people flying kites in every park in Beijing that we came across,” Spaulding said. “It took me back to my childhood days. We don’t do that anymore.”

Those nostalgic moments in China would lead to yesterday’s Family Kite Day held at Conner-Heise Memorial Park on 10th and Washington, from 11 AM to 5 PM.

“I’m just trying to bring a little life, a little color, into our community,” said Spaulding, a Proviso East alumnus.

What began as a way to spread financial literacy and security to people in his community has spawned into a far more encompassing endeavor.

Spaulding, who majored in Finance at the University of Illinois and currently resides in downtown Chicago, has created an organization called Integrating People’s Options to formally facilitate more community events like the one yesterday. He envisions hosting basketball and softball tournaments, and 5K and 10K runs–right here in Maywood. His wife LaTrina, Tiffney Hughes and LaShaundra Murphy comprise the organization’s administrative team.

“I love my community,” Spaulding said. “I love my people, so when I read the news and I see the stuff that’s happening in Maywood–that hurts me. I ride through this community and I don’t see anyone in the parks. I hate that.”

At least for one overcast, but temperate, Saturday afternoon, however, one park in the Village was animated by an Imperial City pastime imported to the Village of Eternal Light. VFP

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