By: YPT Development Director Brenna Hill
Since joining YPT last year, I’ve been focused on deepening our connection with our local Takoma Park community, especially after the significant disconnection caused by the pandemic.
Takoma Park is an amazing and diverse city, filled with interesting and eclectic stores, delicious restaurants, and wonderful, culturally and politically engaged people. When planning began for our spring fundraiser, I was determined to do a neighborhood event that was welcoming and fun for Takoma Park residents and would introduce them to the profound work and impact of YPT.
A drive-In movie seemed like a great idea to do something unique that allowed for social distancing and provided opportunities for fundraising and connection. So, on Friday, May 12, YPT hosted its first Reels and Wheels Drive-In Movie Fundraiser at the Takoma Park Silver Spring Co-Op.
More than 100 people of all ages came out to watch Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, a modern classic starring Whitney Houston, Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, and Bernadette Peters. This film was the first time the Cinderella story was adapted for a racially diverse cast, and Brandy affectionately became known as the unofficial “First Black Disney Princess.”
Perfect weather contributed to a glorious night filled with smiles, yummy food by Muoi Tieu and Jas & Fam Caribbean Flavor food trucks, and the chance to take pictures with Cinderella herself! Folks brought out their camp chairs and ate their fill of popcorn while watching a great movie under the stars.
Overall, the event raised more than $18,000 to support YPT’s mission of uplifting youth voices! Even more importantly, however, was that it brought YPT into the Takoma Park community, connecting us with residents, and giving us a chance to truly introduce ourselves to our neighbors after three long years of isolation.
I hope to have many more similar events in the future and am incredibly thankful to everyone who came out, donated, and helped make it happen. You made the impossible possible!
YPT Development Director