Community Block Party Planned

The annual block party on Maryland Avenue in Steubenville has evolved over the years with different leaders and organization stepping up to help lead the event.

The LaBelle Neighbors Who Care revived the party in 2008. Asantewa Anyabwile of the LaBelle Neighbors Who Care said with the passing of Diane Willimer, the block party lost its focus for a short time, but has since re-organized and started moving forward again.

“I am very excited about this year’s block party because we have seen it growing in popularity for the past several years,” Anyabwile said.

Cookie West of the Lee Alexander West Spiritual Movement said the party is set from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday on the street in front of the Tower of Power Church in the 1300 block Maryland Avenue.

“It is truly going to be a fun-filled day with inflatable games, a face painting booth, entertainment, music by the Word of Life Fellowship trio and lots of food,” West said.

Local officials have been invited to attend the party, and several have indicated they will be there. Michael Thomas of the U.N.I.T.E.D Front will be at the party talking about the death of his son and the need to stop the violence in our community.

“Michael’s story should be heard, as well as my story about my son Lee who would have been a senior this year at Steubenville High School. And the Big Red football team has said they will be attending the party to show their support,” West said.

West said the event has always been about stopping the violence in the city.

“The Rev. Everett Mitchell has long had a voice in our community,” she said. “He is very involved and has the heartbeat of the streets. His church has been in the center of the LaBelle neighborhood since 2001. He believes we can’t run from the problems and we need to find a solution. This block party is one way to find a solution to the violence.”

According to Mitchell, the event is an attempt to combat violence. He said the group is reaching out to kids who are looking for a role model.