Alumni help organize festival to benefit local nonprofit

Ferrel and Blancas, Family Focus

David Ferrel (left) and David Blancas, both Aurora University alumni, helped coordinate the Family Focus Summer Fest in Aurora earlier this summer.

Recently, Family Focus of Aurora, a social-service agency, held its 5th annual Summer Fest fundraiser at East Aurora High School. The purpose of the event is to bring the community together for a day of games, music, food and fun.

David Blancas and David Ferrel are two Aurora University alumni who were  involved in organizing the event. Blancas, Youth Development Site Coordinator, has been managing the festival for two years. “Summer Fest is a wonderful community event,” said Blancas. “It is now evolving into our first Sabor Latino Americano Festival.  It’s similar to Taste of Chicago, but primarily features food from Latin American culture.”

Ferrel, who graduated from AU in May,  served as an intern last spring for Family Focus. His internship experience gave him the opportunity to work by Blancas’ side as he planned the 2012 Summer Fest.

One of the  activities that Ferrel and Blancas organized for this year’s fundraiser was a mock jail in which community leaders and elected officials were “locked” in a cell. In order to be released, each prisoner had to raise a bond of $500 from the people in the crowd. Among those held captive were Illinois State Senator Linda Holmes and State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia.

Next year, Family Focus will host another Summer Fest in hopes of growing in popularity and delivering a day of community-building and fun.