If you love Dayton-born funk, this summer celebration is worth the drive

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This summer, the Fort Wayne Commission for the Social Status of African American Males and Sweetwater welcomes the return of the Summer Community Celebration.

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This year's celebration features legendary performers The Ohio Players and The Gap Experience (featuring original members of the Gap Band).

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The free admission, all-ages event that is open to the general public. The Summer Community Celebration aims to unify for all of Fort Wayne and positively promote civic engagement, small business, social service awareness, family unity, community pride, fatherhood recognition and engagement, assist in building networks and highlight wrap-around services.

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“This event not only provides a positive opportunity for families to assemble and experience a real sense of community, it also aids in civic consciousness, small business revenue, social service awareness, scholarship opportunities and acts as a platform to help in dismantling the negative perceptions of African American fathers and their participation in their children’s lives and academic success.” said Glynn Hines 6th District Councilman in a press release to this news organization.

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Credit: Contributed

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Credit: Contributed

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Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

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The 2017 event featured an amazing performance by the Isley Brothers and welcomed over 4,500 attendees, 30 social services agencies and 25 small business vendors. Over 1,000 book bags were donated that included school supplies for fathers who took a pledge to volunteer three times at their child’s school, help them with their homework and escort them to class on the first day of school. Two Scholarships were also handed out to two local African American students pursuing post-secondary education. Four local fathers were also honored for their dedication and participation in the academic and social success of their children and other youth in the community.

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Hailing from our hometown of funk, The Ohio Players formed in 1959 have since become acclaimed American funk and R&B group. The stage will also see The Gap Experience -- the core group who wrote, recorded and toured the world as The Gap Band, bringing the original rhythm and funk back to the masses.

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Want to go?

WHAT: Summer Community Celebration

WHERE: McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott St., Fort Wayne, IN

WHEN: Saturday, August 4

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