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General News Sat, 31 Jul 2010

Ghanafest Is Today In Chicago

Ghana National Council Of Metropolitan Chicago: Ghanafest 2010 Press Release

This year’s Ghanafest is on Saturday, July 31st , 2010 at Chicago’s Washington Park at 5600 South Russell Avenue, (the Street east of Martin Luther King Drive and 55th street aka Garfield Blouvard). West of Du Sable Museum and near the swimming pool. It is the same location as last year’s. For those who would need further directions, call 773-636-7013, 312-338-3768 or 773-960-5416 or email to ghananationalcouncil@yahoo.com.

Fellow Ghanaians, like it or not, the shadow of Ghanafest has changed forever. By this I mean, we; the community need to do whatever it will take to help sustain this festival. The days when we get spontaneous sponsorship and grants are over. The days when the Council give hand-outs to Associations are over and the days when the City of Chicago over-look the things we do at Ghanafest is over. What are in place are “self” evolution, “self” sustenance and “self” endowment.

The irony of basic fact is, the Associations are equally refusing to participate in traditional programs that help raise funds to help fund the festival. A careful look at the Revenue for Ghanafest reveals that whilst sponsorship has dried out, the Associations too are refusing to sell raffle tickets to help sustain Ghanafest. By this trend, the Executive must look for professional ways and means for funding our beloved festival. This year, one of the sources was to seek a $1,500.00 loan from each Association just to make deposit payments on logistics needed for Ghanafest. The good news is that, most of the Affiliates have paid up their outstanding arrears. A quick look into the comparable accounting of Ghanafest from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 revealed a rise in cost and dwindling revenue at staggering opposing upward and downward sloop respectively.

A few examples are Chicago Park District charged $3,025.00 in 2007 through 2009; but in 2010 they are charging $11,400.00. Tent rentals increased from $7,980.00 in 2007 to $11,909.25 in 2010. Make no allusions about upgrading of logistics. It is the same items, same materials to date. Overall cost has risen from $24,000.00 in 2007 to $43,000.00 in 2010. Combined sponsorship in revenue was $12,900.00 in 2007 to $2,950.00 for 2010. We sought for a loan $1,500.00 from each Association for which as I write stood $12,000.00 collected. All Vendors for equipment (i.e.; tents, chairs, tables, electricity, fencing, toilets etc) to be used have to be paid in full before the festival takes off.

The question is, who funds the balance of almost Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00)?

Ladies and Gentlemen, all we are asking the community for is massive patronage of Ghanafest ! Pay $5.00 at the gate to help pay our way out and also to sustain and preserve the festival for our children and their children’s children. Besides, it has been a Ghanaian identity well recognized by the City of Chicago and all Ghanaians home and abroad,our African American brothers and sisters and other ethnicities and fans who participate in Ghanafest yearly. Please, refuse to cheat at the gate. Be a patriot and pay the $5.00 to enter!

I will close by entreating all in our community to eschew bitterness and rancor. Let us embrace peace and unity of purpose, to sustain our national identity as Ghanaians. Let us give our Chiefs ,Queens, elders and leaderships at the various levels of our community due respect, because their sacrifice is of essence to our cause as Ghanaians in the Diasporas. There is no “US” and “THEM” in anything we do. We are one people whose character is defined by where we came from. We were raised in a community where we share everything together. The Ghanaian identity is cooperation and/or cooperative. We are “Oman Baako mu nnipa”. To smile is the real Ghanaian identity, we bite no one. We are one people full of respect towards one another. Let peace prevail as we enter Ghanafest because it is healing time.A time to proudly come together as Ghanaians and celebrate our rich culture!

The participants are going to be at their very best. Let all who would attend this year’s festival braze for a wonderful festival. We have planned a variety of programs to keep you entertained all day.The gates will open at 11.00 prompt and end at 10.00pm. If you want African arts and craft, it will be there cheaply to buy! A culinary experience awaits you as we have lined up a variety of Ghanaian cuisine at our famous food court. Hope to see you there. I thank you dearly.

JOHN HENRY ASSABILLPRESIDENT (GNC)






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Source: Ghana National Council Of Metropolitan Chicago
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