Ypsilanti Citizen Community Sidetrack

Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

Ypsilanti Christmas Dinner to serve hundreds

Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Wednesday event at Korey's Krispy Krunchy Chicken in downtown Ypsilanti

By Charnika Jett
Dec. 21, 2009    ·    12:26 p.m.


Ypsilanti community members can forget about their financial woes for one night as one business man in Ypsilanti returns with his yearly Christmas gift to the community.

Leonardo Christian, owner of DeVinci Fundraising, is gearing up to deliver hundreds of people hearty meals at his 9th annual Christmas Dinner from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Korey's Krispy Krunchy Chicken in downtown Ypsilanti.

With the extravagant buffet-style dinner that local restaurants take part in, Christian is hoping to bring good cheer to those who have lost a lot during those stressful times in 2009.

"When somebody's been working all of their life and now they're struggling to pay [their] bills," Christian said," this dinner is helping them out so they don't have to worry about cooking that day because they will have a full dinner."

Macaroni and cheese, candied yams and string beans are just a few dishes that will sit along side the turkey, ribs and ham on what Christian hopes is more than a few hundred visitors plates.

"I'm expected to feed over a 1,000 people this year, Christian said. "Last year it was 767 people."

In fact, Christian is more than prepared. In order to guarantee satisfaction to his guests, he has a menu that is equipped with five different kinds of meat, 10 sides and an array of desserts.

"I rather have more food than not enough," Christian said.

This motto was created after his first Christmas dinner in 2000 didn't pan out the way he imagined. Although Aubree's pizza spent two days baking and frying 500 pounds of turkey, Christian recalled running out of food well before the dinner ended.

"This girl came in with her daughter and I felt really bad," Christian said. "I ended up taking her to KFC and I apologized to her."

Aubree's isn't the only restaurant in town that helps prepare the food that Christian has raised money to buy. Pub 13 and Sidetrack Bar and Grill also committed to join in on the good deed. In addition to lending their skills in the kitchen, Haab's also participated by donating their favored mash potatoes.

While Christian has booked his Christmas dinner at places like the Freighthouse in Depot Town and the Tap Room on Michigan Ave., he decided to turn to a new business owner who has set up shop in a familiar place.

Corey Barden, owner of Korey's Krispy Krunchy Chicken located at 124 Pearl St, not only agreed, but also wanted to help with food preparation.

"We'll be providing the fried chicken," Barden said.

As a newcomer in the community, Christian met Barden this summer, shortly after Barden opened his restaurant. Barden can't remember if he was one of his first customers, but he does remember Christian welcoming him into the community with open arms.

"He invited me to the first City Council meeting that happened after I opened," Barden recalled. "I wasn't able to stay and he spoke up for me at the meeting.

"So when I found out something like this [was happening] I was glad to help out," he said.

In addition to Barden's restaurant, Coop's Charity Poker Room, which is adjacent to Korey's Kripy Krunchy Chicken, will also lend some of its space to accompany the large number of guests.

"It's opened to anybody," Christian said of the dinner. "Whether it's people who are staying in shelters, struggling to pay their utilities, or [people] who got laid off from their jobs.

"This is basically to show people that there are still good people out here who care. It's not about a charity case, I just want people to come out and communicate with each other," Christian said.

Metropolitan Vans is donating its services to community members who wish to attend the dinner but do not have transportation, .

Those wishing to volunteer for this event can contact Christian at 734-485-8803.

Related Article:
Christmas Dinner feeds hungry

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