News & Notes: May 2018
The month of May brought lots of celebration as you will see in this month's edition of "News & Notes." We were able to honor a CAC "kid" who is now a college graduate, as well as recognize one of our own for his contributions to the East St. Louis community. We are also thankful for the beginning of warmer weather and the ability for our children to get outside for sports and recreation opportunities!
Marcell inspires through music...
We’re so proud of Marcell, one of our former CAC "kids", and the positive impact he’s making in and around our community through the art of music! Read more in this piece from the Belleville News-Democrat:

When local rap artist Marcell Cannon, 24, recorded his latest single, “Honor Roll,” he knew it would be a hit — but he didn’t anticipate where it would take him.

“The engineer got the hotel room where we recorded it, and once I heard it — I mean, I have a lot of songs, but I feel like this song was the one that spoke out to me; it really touched me,” the East St. Louis native said.

Known by more than 25,000 followers on Instagram as Luh Cell, Cannon recently released the video for “Honor Roll,” featuring hundreds of students from Paul Dunbar Elementary School in East St. Louis. “It feels good to do this type of music,” Cannon said. “The music I was doing before, people were liking it, but with the kids, there’s just so much love and you can feel it around you. It just inspires me to keep going forward.”

While shooting the video, Cannon described being surrounded by students looking up to him as an experience he wished he had when he was young. Cannon said he did not have a positive role model in his life other than Chet Cantrell, executive director of the Christian Activity Center, whom he met when he was 6 years old.

“He got me in so many good directions and put so many people in my life to talk to — there’s just so much about Chet,” Cannon said. “He’s really the dad I never had. Chet is the one who always told me what was right, what to do, what not to do.”
Do you remember your time at summer camp?
On May 5, 2009 the Christian Activity Center lost an endearing child, Kenny Allen, in a drive-by shooting. We dedicate this to all our beloved children – taken away from us before their time. Through the Kenny Allen Camp Fund, you wrap around kids just like Kenny with the special gifts summer time can bring....

There are many things to remember about Kenny. Everyone knew Kenny loved camp- and no one expressed their love better. “It’s my vacation,” he would say. Once at camp, nothing could mess up his camp groove - not rain, missing underwear - or an oversized swimsuit - which didn’t hinder the passing of his swim test even though it was floating somewhere in the deep end when he crossed the finish line. Before getting in the bus to come home, he would already be lobbying for the cabin he wanted next year and trying to recruit his counselors into coming back (which he successfully did for six years or more). Kenny loved camp.

Read more about Kenny's story and how you can help a child's dream of summer camp come true: https://conta.cc/2KmmAhV
Congratulations Qeashaunda!
Our very own Qeashaunda Johnson graduated with honors from Chowan University on Saturday May 5th, with a degree in Business Administration! She received multiple awards, including the Senior Ambassador Award, Verea Parker Womble Christian Service Award, and Best All Around Student Award.

She was also inducted into the Alpha Lamdba Delta and Sigma Beta Delta honor societies. We are SO very proud of Qeashaunda and all of her accomplishments!
"And now a word from us kids"...
Hear what our children have to say about God's greatest blessings, their desired superpower, and what age they consider to be "old"-- all of that and more in this month's edition of "And now a word from us kids!"
Celebrating our mothers!
Our amazing mother's, grandmothers and aunts were invited to attend our Mother's Day dessert and devotion! Our master of ceremony was Ms. Otis, with performances by Black Butterfly and Ignited For Christ. While over 25 women enjoyed banana pudding, fluff, cookies and peach cobbler, several kids took center stage to publicly thank their guardian...there wasn't a dry eye in the room!
What do you want to be when you grow up?
That is the question we are trying to help our children answer with a variety of Career Days and industry site visits through our Pathways program. A few weeks ago we had members of the Air Force speak to the class and answer their questions as to what it's like to be in the military. It was an extremely informative session.

These are the hands-on experiences that we seek to provide for our children, and it's something we will continue to offer based on the early success!
The sun is out and so are we!
The sun is out and the weather is warmer, which means our children are heading outdoors! From taking an afternoon to visit the local park for a tennis lesson to working in CAC's garden and volunteering at a community yard sale, we are doing a wide variety of things outside now that the grass is green. Everyone is excited to begin playing on the playgrounds and athletic fields-- it's our favorite time of year at CAC!

Speaking of summertime, we have a completely packed summer of church groups and community organizations coming to spend time with us! We are always excited to welcome you and your group to CAC to love on our children. While we are already full for Summer 2018, it's never too soon to secure a date for next year! If you have a group that would like to tour or volunteer at CAC, contact Matt Cowman at 618-874-5615 or matt.cowman@cacesl.org.
Christian Activity Center
Caring for kids in East St. Louis
540 N. 6th Street | P.O. Box 2525 | East St. Louis, IL 62201
618-874-5615 | www.cacesl.org