May 11, 2023
A “community peace” cookout for kids and families in Dorchester neighborhoods will take place this Saturday (May 13) at Roberts Playground in Codman Square. With food vendors and activities for kids, the cookout is meant to provide “instill leadership and open doors for youth,” according to the event flyer.
“We need more things for these kids to do,” said Craig Carter, who organized the program. “And get them off their new computers and phones and social media and get their butts into a park.”
Carter, a football coach for the Dorchester Eagles, had the idea after hearing about family issues from his players and noticing that some of them come to practice hungry. He then went to Facebook to ask if his community would be interested in a family cookout. “So many people responded to what I said,” he noted.
From there, he started receiving donations totaling close to $5,000 from GoFundMe, CashApp, and community members. He said he expects around 300 to 400 people at Roberts Playground on Saturday. He also formed a committee to help organize vendors and food for the event.
A handful of people are set to work grills preparing food like chicken, ribs, and burgers, and through one interested community member, some vegan options will be available.
Activities planned for the event include bouncy houses, face painting, balloon animals, arts and crafts, and a DJ.
The committee not only hopes to host the cookout annually, but also make it more frequent, maybe two or three per year.
Carter also got Facebook responses about safety concerns, which is why he got an event permit and arranged for a police detail nearby. “I want them to walk in the park and feel comfortable and participate,” he said. “If I bring my family, I’m going to make sure they’re safe.”
The first annual Community Peace Cookout will take place this Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Roberts Playground, which is located at 56 Dunbar Ave in Dorchester. For more information, email Craig Carter at email@example.com.