Community Comes Together At Westside Reunion

There were smiles a-plenty at the Westside Reunion held at Mic-Mac Park on August 17. Photo by Jessica Masse.

There were smiles a-plenty at the Westside Reunion held at Mic-Mac Park on August 17. Photo by Jessica Masse.

By Jessica Masse

(WINDSOR, ON) – The Westside Reunion was a true success as hundreds of supportive members were in attendance. There was something for everyone of all ages. The event was scheduled to commence at 11:00 pm, and it was right on time.

As I scanned the audience, I saw that there were people from every walk of life. And I heard all sorts of positive feedback. Assuredly, it was truly all positive.

In the entertainment field, performers from Crossing Borders Productions were present to perform two of their upcoming tracks, ” Message to My Seed,” featuring Rapper DnizzyAkadafourthletta. It was a joint collaboration of Montan Nunlee and performers DnizzyAkadafourthletta, and yours truly.

Three young and upcoming artists rapped very well, their lyrics were uplifting and respectful, and they gave tribute to their mother and father.

An open invitation from Chairs Joi Hurst and D.J. Crown welcomed audience members to take the stage and sing. Our native patriot song “Oh Canada” was sung and the entire audience joined in, in appreciation for their country. This followed three hustle dances including the latest and very popular “Wobble Baby Wobble” dance. I saw people from all the ages, infants to the elderly, on the grass dancing and laughing. Obviously everyone was having a great time.

There was then a very special performance from The Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre youth drummers. The Can Am Indian Friendship Centre offers holistic, cultural development programs, and services to meet aboriginal child, youth, family, and community needs. They educated the audience on native wardrobes and the meaning behind each item. The west side community showed returned the generosity by thoughtfully making donations to the Centre.

The information booth set up by the Aids Committee of Windsor at the Westside Reunion. Photo by Jessica Masse.

The information booth set up by the Aids Committee of Windsor at the Westside Reunion. Photo by Jessica Masse.

I noticed that there seemed to be an attempt to promote fitness and healthy wellbeing. The Aids Committee of Windsor was present and offered educational packets of planned parenthood, abstinence, and safe sex practices.

There was no shortage of activities as events included basketball and baseball games. There, even, were belly dancing volunteers who provided free belly dancing lessons to all who were interested.

In addition, there was face-painting, cotton candy, pillow sack races, hula-hoop contests, bubble gum blowing contests, donut eating contests, and much more.

The food was barbecued by Montan Nunlee, who took a break from his Crossing Borders Production work and song writing, to donate his time to the reunion. He was the chef for the entire day. There certainly was a feeling of paying it forward in the air.

Pat Berry of Windsor West Citizen’s Organization said this, “Well organized, well executed! Kudos to all of those who helped to bring this event together for the community. The support for the Windsor West Citizens’ Organization was huge and we thank all for standing behind our initiative. I no longer live in the community and appreciate the opportunity to be able to connect with old friends. I will always attend for the hugs. Loved it.”

Reunion co-chair D.J. Crown said, “I feel like it was a success. We got a chance to bring people in the neighbourhood together and had fun.”

Children at the Westside Reunion enjoyed many different games and events including a pillow sack race. Photo by Jessica Masse.

Children at the Westside Reunion enjoyed many different games and events including a pillow sack race. Photo by Jessica Masse.

As I walked around talking to the various residents of the community, I asked various revellers what the Westside Reunion meant to them. I receive a lot of differing answers, but they all had common threads; empowerment, change, and strength.

At the Westside Reunion there was a show of multiculturalism and inter-denominational religious cooperation. There is no doubt that the Westside Reunion exemplifies a message of hope, strength, and integrity for the community as a whole.

We have been given life. It is up to us, as citizens and residents, to become involved and to keep ourselves informed of what is going on in the community. Canada is a beautiful and free country where democracy is not only accepted but welcomed.

Live, learn, serve, and be apart of the joy that comes from knowing you are making a difference in our greater society.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata
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