‘We are family’: Annual event continues to promote love, unity in Charlotte community

With the start of school just days away, this is also about setting the foundation for the year.
A Charlotte organization is hosting an event this weekend to show love, hope and unity.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 5:02 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - This weekend, there is a big family reunion happening in Charlotte, one of love and unity.

“We are not just inviting Little Rock and Boulevard Homes. We’re inviting everyone,” said Tania Pozo with Team TruBlue.

“Everybody, pull up,” added Will Adams, founder of Team TruBlue.

On Saturday at Tuckaseegee Park, Team TruBlue will host its annual event featuring food, music, games and a softball tournament. The goal is to bring Charlotte’s neighborhoods - including Little Rock and Boulevard Homes - together.

“These two communities were communities that were plagued with a lot of violence back in the day. What we have done is created a space where we all come together and show love and hope,” Adams said.

For Adams, it’s also personal. His son was murdered in 2008 at the age of 15. The event has been held yearly since 2014 in his memory.

“We create a space and we create an environment where when you come out and you see all this, you can’t do nothing but help and love it because it’s all about love. And it’s about who we are here. This is a stop the violence event. So there’s no violence, no nothing. We are here just pure love,” Adams said.

Kids and violence are words that have been repeated too many times across the Charlotte area. With the start of school just days away, this is also about setting the foundation for the year.

“I think having an event with such love, respect and people get along, I think there’s very important going into the school year because we can tap into the mindset and the kids can take that mindset in school,” said Donnell Gardner, president of Team TruBlue.

Part of that effort is law enforcement.

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden - whose roots trace back to west Charlotte - will throw out the first pitch during Saturday’s softball game.

“Important for them to see I care about them and I am their sheriff,” McFadden said.

He added the event is also about bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“Come and see love firsthand - families, law enforcement, then stereotype us. Stereotype us if this picnic goes there will always be law enforcement in the community together. We are not out here to enforce laws, we’re just out here to meet our families,” said McFadden.

The event will start with setup at 10 a.m. There will also be a balloon release at 12 p.m.

“You will see four, five generations coming together,” said Gardner.

“We are a family. We just have to understand that sometimes you have to push everything aside, the politics and all the violence and say ‘We are family,’” added McFadden.