SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was early Monday morning before his day had really begun when Bishop Dr. H. Bernard Alex got a call that would send him into a scramble.
The freezer inside his church basement was broken, reading 95 degrees. On any other day, it would be a headache. But on this day, it was a disaster.
It’s the same freezer that was holding all the homemade food for the Victory Temple Fellowship Church‘s meal program on Wednesdays. It’s also the same freezer that was stocked with food for a festival on Saturday, June 26 Bishop Alex organized.
Now, he’s scrambling to restock the shelves with burgers, beef hotdogs, buns, and anything else you’d bring to a barbeque.
It’s all needed for his first Community Wide Festival, celebrating fathers and children.
It’s a day filled with information and engagement meant to build the bond between fathers and children.
He’s putting the festival on in conjunction with Healthy Start of Onondaga County, Crouse Health, and Key Bank of Central New York.
During the fest, there will be tables with health information. Medical professionals will also offer screenings for things like colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, and more. There will be a lot of male-driven medical resources.
“A lot of times men don’t like to go to the doctor,” said Bishop Alex.
Instead, doctors will come to the community, letting fathers know there are healthcare partners for them and they do have a place to go if they need help.
Bishop Alex also wants to highlight the value of those in nearby neighborhoods, and show them they’re worth so much more than the spike in crime around them.
A mother said, she was with her children and she said, Reverand nobody cares about us. They don’t care about us over here, they just think, you know, I live near Skyline or over near that place. They don’t care.Bishop H. Bernard Alex
He hopes to help change that mindset because he knows where you live doesn’t determine who you are.
On Saturday, when people go to the festival, he hopes they’ll feel seen and celebrated for who they are.
“We’re a neighborhood of transition, yes, but a neighborhood that has so much possibility,” he said.
The Community Festival is taking place from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 26 in the Victory Temple Fellowship Church parking lot on East Willow Street.
If you’d like to help, you can drop off beef hamburgers, beef hotdogs, and/or buns from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday at the rear entrance of the church:
817 East Willow Street
Syracuse, NY 13203