(L-R) Charisse Bremond, Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Isadore Hall, Sentinel Publisher Danny Bakewell Sr., Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Mrs. Lillian Mobley, Brian White and Brenda Marsh-Mitchell.Photo Credit: Francis Taylor for Sentinel
By Francis TaylorSentinel Staff WriterMothers In Action held its 11th Annual Back-to-School event at the Sports Arena at Exposition Park last Saturday. Brenda Marsh Mitchell, President and Co-Founder of Mothers in Action and Charisse Bremond, President and CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade (BC) hosted the event which was attended by thousands of area school children, their parents and guardians.Those who attended the event--billed as 'The Health and Family Festival'--were treated to a myriad of free services which included health screenings, school supplies, school uniforms and haircuts. The purpose of the annual event is to prepare the school children for the beginning of the regular school year after the long, hot summer."I am pleased with the number of young people we were able to assist this year," Marsh-Mitchell said. "And for the generosity of our sponsors, vendors, volunteers and especially for elected officials, who took time away from their busy schedule to participate in the event."Starting off with a report which each child received at the entrance, the children were required to visit the various booths along the designated route while receiving their medical screenings, other services and school items--pencils, notebooks, binders and backpacks--and getting their report cards marked off along the way culminating at the final booth, the Mothers In Action.Some of the booth were sponsored by the Children's Dental Center, Wal-Mart's vision center, a Drug Free Marshal, Care 1st Medical and the Hubert Humphrey Mobile Unit which conducted blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes screening.The highlight of the event came when Bremond, a co-sponsor of the event, introduced Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., chairman of the BC's board of directors executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and co-founder of the Annual Back-to-School event during his tenure at the BC, who served as moderator introducing the distinguished guests, visitors, elected officials, and prominent supporters of the back to school festival. He acknowledged the generous donations provided by the sponsors, the tireless work of the volunteers, and the excellent work of event's organizer Marsh-Mitchell and others.His first introduction was noted actor Brian White who urged the children to focus on their education and to maintain their personal integrity. He said,"Education is something that cannot be taken away from you and as far as personal integrity is concerned, if you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it."Next Bakewell introduced Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa whom he called his personal friend and a long-time supporter of the Back-to-School festival. He said that this man is "always at the forefront of making things better in Los Angeles." The Mayor said that we must make sure that our kids are prepared for school so that they will be prepared for success. He acknowledged the work of Mothers in Action, the Sentinel Newspaper and a few individuals who were present including Community Matriarch, Lillian Mobley; Los Angeles City Councilmember Jan Perry; Los Angeles School Board Member Marguerite LaMotte; State Senator Curren Price and Assembly Speaker Pro-Tem, Isadore Hall. He also extended his appreciation to the Sports Arena for hosting the event at its venue and to Wal-Mart and Office Depot for their generous support.Assembly member Hall acknowledged the presence and support of Rev. Joseph Hamilton of One In Christ Church and members of his congregation. He then turned his remarks to the children and said that he wanted to reiterate the importance of education and the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic. Hall also advised the young people to work hard and reminded them that they can achieve whatever they set their mind to.Before making a special tribute to Marsh-Mitchell and Bremond, Bakewell acknowledged representatives from Farmer's Insurance and Wal-Mart then he welcomed Keith Adams, Farmer's Insurance as a new sponsor and applauded W. C. Morrison, representing the Wal-Mart Foundation for contributing to the success of the event.Finally Marsh-Mitchell said. "Mothers in Action is so grateful to you, the sponsors and supporters, for your commitment to us and our efforts in making a difference in the lives of our children as they prepare for the 2009-2010 school year. It takes a village to raise a child and we are honored to have you as part of our village."