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Bolingbrook Juneteenth 2017-06-03T17:33:40+00:00

COMMUNITY, INSPIRATION & UNITY

Annually, members of the community form a partnership to host a Juneteenth festival the benefit of Bolingbrook and surrounding communities. This event provides a positive and peaceful forum for the community’s residents to educate, empower and encourage.

This multicultural celebration includes live entertainment, food, vendor booths and educational exhibits.

Volunteers

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Vendoors

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Sponsors

Sponsors

Lawrence E. Cooper

President/ Founder

I am the proud founder of BBJuneteenth, a community celebration, bridging, age, race and status. It is with great pleasure that I call Bolingbrook my home for the Past 21 Years. I am the esteemed owner and operator of Coop’s Den, a family owner business. Coop’s opened in 2012, serving Bolingbrook and the neighboring suburbs, offering fine cuisine and live music. I am an active resident, sponsoring and working with various charitable endeavors, and mentoring young adults in the community. My corporate experience has well equipped me to identify needs within the community, strategically manage a project, and develop a plan of action to reach a specific goal. As a direct result, I was compelled to get involved in the creation of this celebration of diversity.

Hobbies include: Golf, Motorcycles and Poker when time permits.

Tamara Smith

Vice President

Tamera Smith MSN, APN, FNP-BC, RNFA a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner has been a resident of Bolingbrook for the past 10 years. Her hobbies include reading, shopping, watching football, and spending quality time with family and friends. She continues to uphold the importance diversity and inclusion and supports many organizations to carry out her mission as a health professional. Ms. Smith is dedicated to improving the lives of others within her community and believes that health outcomes can be improved with education and alternative health choices.

Samantha D. Cooper

Treasurer

I have been a resident of Bolingbrook for 27 years. I raised my four children within the comforts of the community and they are all products of Valley View School District. Bolingbrook has always been a safe, family-oriented diverse environments and I am proud to be a resident. I have contributed to the community volunteering with the Girl Scouts of America, designated to oversee cookie sales for fundraising. I volunteered in the community as a coach for Pop Warner Trojans Cheer, a nonprofit organization for over 10 years, accompanying young athletes to compete on national platform for six consecutive years. Additionally, I volunteered with the Bolingbrook High School girls’ basketball team as needed for four years. I am the co-owner of Coop’s Den, providing job opportunities for community and mature nightlife experience for residents. Currently, I serve as the treasurer on the Juneteenth committee. In my professional experience, serving in the healthcare arena for the past 30 years. I have gained expertise human resources, management, financing and project management.

Rowsha LaBranche

BBJuneteenth Board Member – Secretary

Rowsha LaBranche has been a resident of Bolingbrook, IL since 1982, and is married to her childhood sweetheart. She is a faithful wife, dedicated mother, gracious hostess and fabulous cook (chef quality)! Rowsha is also a retired Healthcare Professional with more than 40 years tenure in management. Her professional acumen includes Supervisor, Trainer, Sr. Consultant, Sr. Program Manager and Sr. IT Project Manager for several of our largest national healthcare Insurance Companies. In addition to assuming the role as secretary for BBJuneteenth in 2017, Rowsha is also Founder/President of the LaBranche Family Foundation which serves disadvantaged families throughout Will County and the surrounding areas by granting Christmas wishes (Food, Clothing, Toys, etc), providing support for children admitted to transitional care facilities, providing educational programs, providing health & wellness programs, and the gift of new pajamas. The LaBranche Family Foundation’s motto is: Supporting Families. Strengthening Communities.

Darren Cornelious

Board Member

Native Chicagoan, Romeoville resident for the past 17-years. Married with two adult sons. Graduate of Dominican University, field of study Business Management. Currently employed in the steel processing and manufacturing industry as a Plant Manager.

Hobbies; cooking, gardening and motorcycling when time allows.

History

Summarily, Juneteenth is the equivalent of Independence Day for African Americans and is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.  It was on June 19th in 1865, that Union soldiers (led by Major General Gordon Granger) traveled to Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note, the news was delivered almost three years after President Lincoln’s official Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Regrettably, the Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on Texans due to the small number of Union troops willing to enforce the Executive Order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865 and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance. Juneteenth celebrations have been held across the United States since June 19th of 1865 in recognition of this momentous occasion.

We’d Like To Thank Our 2017 Sponsors