This past September, The ABC Foundation executed it's innagural project, the Charleston Community Cookout.

As you are most likely aware, division throughout communities all across our nation has been intensifying. Whether it is over current political matters, race relations, civil rights, or any other reason, we are at a time of great divide in the United States. Thankfully, WV has avoided widespread national headlines, greatly in part due to being a group of small tight knit communities who put our community first. Rather than perpetuating division, we set out to provide an opportunity to bring about a sense of unity throughout the area.

With the help of local band Hybrid Soul Project, the Charleston Police Department, staffers of the North Charleston Rec, and other concerned members of our community, we were able to plan an event inclusive for all people, regardless of age, sex, religion, orientation, financial class, socio-economic status, or occupation. Our purpose wass simply to provide an environment that would help set aside the various differences that too often divide us and come together to form bonds based solely upon the genuine nature of our character as people.

On Saturday, September 17th, 2016, at the North Charleston Rec Center, people from all over our community came together over food, fun, & music. Volunteers from the area & River Ridge Church helped hand out free food from Qdoba, Papa Johns, & Ridge View BBQ. The children enjoyed free face painting, freshly popped popcorn, dancing to music, and even got to play with some friendly adoptable dogs brought down by our friends from the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association . There were many officers out enjoying time interacting with the kids & people from the community, with a table setup with information & goodies to give away. There was a selection of inflatables, and even a dunk tank where the kids got a chance to dunk CPD's Lieutenant officer. WV Mobile Gaming brought their gaming theater truck that hosted free video games on several screens both inside & outside of their specially designed truck. CPD officers & memebers of the local Fire Department also took groups of children to the Safety City facility where they learned important safety skills. Our friends from Infinity Sports came out and passed out some t-shirts, freshly made smoothies, performmed some agility drills, and passed out information about their annual camps & projects. The event ended with live music from local bands Hybrid Soul Project & Groove Heavy.

We believe that bringing our community together is vitally important, and that it is a blessing to be a blessing. We appreciate the help of everyone who made the event a success & to all of those who came out and had a great time with us.

We look forward to seeing you next year!