Volunteers folding donated clothes [PHOTOS: COURTESY]
Two-time cancer survivor Joe Ayers won’t hesitate to repeat the impressive donation numbers for the 2018 Summit City Celebration.
The festival drops Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the McMillen Park from 1 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Over 20,000 pounds of new and used clothes, over 500 pairs of shoes have been donated for this year’s festival to be given away to families in the community.
“We used to call them hand me down clothes. I call them hand me up clothes,” Ayers said. “We give you a hand to lift you up.”
All of the clothes, shoes, suits, and dresses were washed and cleaned by the Wash House Laundromat on Calhoun Street.
Women's Health Link will be giving diapers away at the festival.
You know if it’s an Ayers production, there’s going to be a health component, as Parkview Health, Parkview Cancer Institute, and Oak Street Health Clinic be on site to provide screenings, answer questions, and provide literature.
SUD’N Impact Gym, a boxing and kickboxing organization, will put on a boxing tournament and tutorial for kids who can use big inflatable gloves, “to help kids get discipline because boxing disciplines your mind and your anger,” Ayers said.
The 2018 festival will also honor two Fort Wayne institutions. “Euell Wilson and the Euell Wilson Center because of what namesake Euell Wilson brought to the table and what his mom Shirley Woods and Mr. Woods brings to the kids,” Ayers said.
Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Joe Jordan will also be honored for past community impact and for future outreach when the club’s new facility, currently under construction, will reopen.
Leslie Johnson, former WNBA player and Indiana Hall of Famer, will guest speak and 100.5 FM’s own Dr. Deborah Goodwin-Starks and Reverend Christopher Riley are the event co-hosts.
“Spirit, health, and education…that’s what helps you live a normal life. I have had a lot of life afflictions in my life in the past [including two bouts with cancer and two back surgeries],” Ayers said. “God has blessed me in so many ways that money could never buy.”
For Ayers, those afflictions that have derailed and postponed growth have included past mistakes. “Some people are worried about forgiveness from other people. God has already forgiven you. You have to love yourself.
“And we got to come together as a community.”
Parkview Health, The Rescue Mission, Lutheran Health Network, General Motors UAW 2209, among other groups, are the event’s sponsors.