FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Amnesty and Deliverance Festival in Fort Wayne has undergone some changes this year in an attempt to become more inclusive and serve more people.
“I wanted it to appeal to more people,” said organizer Joseph Ayers.
Now in its seventh year, the event will be called the Summit City Community Festival.
In addition to giving away free clothing, school supplies and hair cuts, this year the festival will also focus on helping cancer survivors and awarding college scholarships to those affected by cancer.
“Parkview has been a real plus for me to make sure that this happens this year,” said Ayers. “This year Parkview Health is donating three scholarships to anybody who has cancer or a family member who has cancer or recovering from cancer. We would like to bless them with a scholarship and that includes a teenager or an adult who’s going to college.”
Ayers decided to focus on helping families affected by cancer because he is a two time cancer survivor.
“I had carcinoma cancer and prostate cancer, but right now I’m cancer free. I understand the anxiety and the anguish. So I want to support those dealing with it and celebrate life. There are a lot of people out there who are struggling and need help.”
Parkview will award three $500 cancer scholarships during the festival Saturday, August 26th at McMillen Park on Abbott Street. It will take place from 1 to 8 p.m. and admission is free. A Cancer Survivor Rally will be held at 4 p.m.
For more information on the scholarships visit Ayers Communications Inc. on Facebook.
The festival will also include a few sports tournaments. One of them will honor former North Side High school football coach Terrence Miles who was shot to death in May.
“We’re honoring Terrence L. Miles at the basketball tournament. We put his name on the trophies and medallions and also we have a balloon release in his honor and having family members come up and speak on his behalf. He’s truly missed. He was a great mentor to our kids and our community. So we want to honor him for the work he’d done in the community.”
Volunteers have been helping Ayers get ready for the festival. Students at the Jennings Center spent hours folding thousands of pounds of clothes that will be given away.
“Some are out here struggling,” said Jayshanek Brooks. “Once we do this we can give the clothes to the ones who are in need and they’ll be lifted up… blessed.”
Ayers said Lutheran Health Network, Sweetwater, Citilink, The Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, Kroger, Wash House, UAW 2209 and the NAACP also helped with donations.