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With the calendar flirting with the month of June, it’s not too early to plan for Juneteenth, a party in the park that celebrates the day that slaves in Texas learned they were now free and no longer in bondage.

The celebration began in 1865 in Galveston and shows no sign of slowing down as Juneteenth is now celebrated in most of the United States.

This year’s Evanston celebration, a benefit for the Forrest E. Powell Foundation, is open to any and all on Saturday, June 20 at the Noyes Cultural Center, 927 Noyes St. Beginning at 5 p.m. with a picnic feast from Hecky’s Barbecue, the menu is reason enough for celebration…barbecue, red beans and rice, red velvet cake and Hecky’s newest addition to the culinary world, strawberry soda.

Donica Lynn, a vibrant singer and Chicago based actress who has appeared in Hairspray, The Color Purple and Hair, to name a few of her Broadway inspired hits, will perform for the audience.

In addition Fleetwood Jordain Theater will reprise “Why Not Me?,” a play about Sammy Davis, Jr., written by Fleetwood Jordain Director, Tim Rhoze, at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the event are $50 each or $160 for a party of four, a bargain for such a bash, can be purchased at www.forestpowell.com.

Explains Hecky Powell, “We priced this so people would come and enjoy the event and get to know one another.”

The Forrest E. Powell Foundation awards scholarships to deserving young people who are entering trade schools and vocational programs. Since its inception in 1994, the Foundation has awarded $60,000 in grants. The awards are broken into three categories, vocational grants, the Brendan M. Hedges Memorial Scholarship in Music and the Annual Work Ethic Award. Upon the retirement of former Evanston mayor Lorraine Morton, the Foundation raised $25,000 in Ms. Morton’s name to her alma mater, Winston Salem State University. Additionally, the Foundation was active in fundraising for the Dajae Coleman Foundation which honors local youth.