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Syracuse’s urban vaccination effort in home stretch



Larry Luttinger

441 E. Washington St.

Syracuse NY 13202


Syracuse’s urban vaccination effort in home stretch

Flat screen TVs and cash raffles for those vaccinated

Syracuse NY – With weekly positive testing rates at 4 per cent and rising and with the school year closing in, the joint vaccination effort led by Syracuse Community Health and 100 Black Men of Syracuse is turning up the heat to get urban residents vaccinated. Their next “Family Health Gathering” is scheduled for this Sunday August 15th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Leavenworth Park, 120 Wilkinson Street, featuring national guest artist Will Holton.

The overriding purpose of the concert series, which began back in June, is to break down fear barriers to promote vaccination and to distribute public health information of all kinds in fun outdoor “cookout and concert” settings in parks across the city. Flat screen TVs and cash raffles are offered as raffle prizes to those being vaccinated, free public health information goodie bags are distributed to all attendees, and a vendor healthcare village is present to answer questions from the public. Minority arts and crafts vendors and food vendors are present for those not wishing to bring their own food and drink. This event’s food vendor is Limp Lizard BBQ.

Said Derrick Murry, COO of Syracuse Community Health, “The state’s weekly positive testing average is up to 3 per cent, and in Central New York it’s 4 per cent. Syracuse’s urban neighborhoods are still running dead last for vaccination percentages in the county. The handwriting is on the wall, folks. Unless we act quickly and vaccinate more people, we’re in for more masking, distancing, fractional occupancy in public places and in schools. We need to realize that it’s not about us now, it’s about others, and about our children 12 and up who are going back to school soon. Have a long talk with yourself and convince yourself that it’s your responsibility to get us all past this pandemic before it become a permanent new reality. We can’t hide from this. Irrational fear caused by misinformation is our enemy now.”

Heavy incentives remain in place for the remainder of the series. “We’ve already given out four flat screens, and we’re looking forward to the big cash raffle at the end of the series that will award prizes of $1,000, $500, and $250 to three lucky folks who have been vaccinated during the series,” according to Larry Luttinger of CNY Jazz, organizer of the series. “So far, we’ve gotten some prominent local citizens who, surprisingly, had not been vaccinated yet. This means we’re doing our job to move the needle for urban public health. We want our attendees, entire families, to come and celebrate. Celebrate our great city, the amazing artistry on display, and our determination to beat this virus, every one of us.”

This Sunday’s musical guest, saxophonist Will Holton, hails from Western New York, with a rising career as a recording artist, having released two albums, “Always” in 2009 and “Love Stories Untold Volume 1” in 2012. He has appeared with Ruben Studdard, Keyshia Cole, Stanley Jordan, Roy Ayers and KEM, among many others. An accomplished music publisher and songwriter, Holton wrote the 2009 hit “Love You A Lifetime” for three-time Grammy-nominated artist Najee.

The series culminates in a grand finale concert in Thornden Park with L.A.-based Eric Darius on August 22nd. All information is available at . All events are rain or shine. Patrons are encouraged to bring tent covers, chairs, food and drink, enjoy the afternoon, and bring loved ones 12 and older to attend and be vaccinated.

IF You Go

WHAT: The Syracuse Community Health “Family Health Gathering” Series

WHO: Will Holton

WHERE: Leavenworth Park, 120 Wilkinson Street, Syracuse NY 13204

WHEN: Sunday August 15th, 2021

SCHEDULE: 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

COST: free

Will Holton