Community comes together for first annual Almeta Crayton Family Reunion
COLUMBIA - The first annual Almeta Crayton Family Reunion event started off early Saturday morning with a community breakfast.
The event honors former First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton who was known for her philanthropy. Crayton's brother, Anthony, said she was deeply involved in the Columbia community.
"It was all about the kids, mostly," Crayton said. "She was raised by a Christian mother who instilled in us a desire to help those around us and just be a good neighbor. We have these events because we want to continue to do right by her."
Normally, Almeta Crayton Community Programs puts on a "Poor Man's Breakfast" around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but that event had to be rescheduled due to weather. Kentrell Minton, the organization's CEO, said the family reunion is a chance to bring the community together like the Poor Man's Breakfast, but also gives people the chance to address problems in the community.
"The saying is closed mouths don't get fed," Minton said. "We need to know what's happening in our community and how we can help before we can do anything. This event is designed for us all to come together to the table and discuss what we need to make Columbia better."
Minton said change has to start from the ground up.
"People think it starts with our government officials but it doesn't," Minton said. "It has to start with us. They won't know how to help us until we know how to help us. We have to come together as one for the community to improve."
Minton said this year's event is also dedicated to Ron Bartel, a good friend of the Crayton family, who passed away earlier this year.
"He was able to provide the proceeds for this event, so we wanted to honor him as well," Minton said.
Almeta Crayton Community Programs said it hopes the family reunion becomes an annual event.