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Building a Stronger Taylor Neighborhood

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- The Taylor neighborhood put an emphasis on families Tuesday night.

They held their 4th annual 'Healthy Families Night' at Taylor Elementary. It's one of many events held in the neighborhood that encourages people to get out and take pride in their community.
Building stronger families is the one of the goals in the Taylor Neighborhood. Not just strength in body, but also in spirit.

I think it's Important for people to know different ways to be healthy, said mother Josie Selck.

Selck explored those options with her daughter. The pair made their way around from booth to booth.

My daughter has some food allergies, so I'm always looking for new recipes to make, she says.

The goal Tuesday night was to make sure the community's needs are met in every aspect, and all of the organizations in attendance reflected that, including Habitat for Humanity, Horizons and St. Lukes.

Its a contrast from a year ago. Just last summer, the area around the school was made headlines for an outbreak of disturbances and fights. Taylor School Principal Brian Cristoffersen says those issues are non-existent - the goal now is continuing to empower the community with events like the Family Night.

We're proud at Taylor School to be the center of Taylor neighborhood, and we believe that we can be a catalyst with everyone in partnership just to rebirth the neighborhood into the wonderful positive place that it is, Cristoffersen says.

The community might be losing an ally in those efforts.

Kathy Potts, WAS the Taylor Neighborhood association president. She stepped down at the end of 2013.

The organization was the voice for the neighborhood, even mediated discussions after last summer's incidents. However, Potts says the association is close to being extinct.

We're a 501(c)(3), a nonprofit group, and you have to have members on your board to do it - and no one wanted to join the board, Potts said.

No 501(c)(3) designation means no funding from the city. It all meaning, less picnics, block parties, and events like the Healthy Families Night, which the association normally sponsors and helps to fund. The association was forced to skip the event this year.

Potts says they have about a month before they lose that designation and lose the funding. If youre interested in becoming a board member, you can call Potts at 550-1749.
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