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Plant City Observer Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 2 weeks ago

T’was the night before Christmas

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QCD, a new organization in Plant City, is making its debut with a Christmas event at Snowden Park.
by: Breanne Williams Staff Writer

Plant City’s youth will soon have a group solely dedicated to mentoring and guiding them on their journey through life.

Raheem Billington, Wayne Ward and Edward Lamar have united to help combat the “many consequences that afflict youth who haven’t been supported.”

The group is called QCD, which represents the three groups involved: Gentleman’s Quest Incorporated, Cuts By Heem and D1 Nation Basketball. Though QCD has just arrived on the scene, its first event is a massive undertaking the men said they hope will solidify its place in the Plant City Community.

The event is called Christmas in the City “Snow Day Edition” and will be held on Christmas Eve at Snowden Park. The event is free and the group will give away bikes, toys and food to as many children as possible. QCD hopes to reach children ages 6 months to 13 years old. Billington said he hopes to impact 100 children at the event and is looking for donations from the community to provide a merry Christmas for all who attend. Though Christmas in the City is the group’s first event, QCD plans to offer more than simply large functions.

“We came together because we feel like the youth is not being paid enough attention to and I feel like we’re losing some of those kids,” Lamar said. “We wanted to partner together for a series of events. This is the first one we’re putting together and we want to draw attention and let them know that their community supports and loves them.”

Ward said the end goal is to establish a mentorship with kids throughout the community. He said what makes QCD stand apart is how it uses events to draw attention to the group, but focuses on being a shoulder for local children to lean on.

“We want to go deeper than just handing them a toy,” Ward said. “We want to let them know that there is a group of men that loves them and wants to show them the right way. It’s always said united we stand, divided we fall. We hope the community will unite with us to help carry our kids to success.”

The group hopes by being a positive influence they can make an impact on issues like graduation rate and drug use, which Lamar said is impacting children at a young age.

Outside of major events, QCD will be teaching children life skills like how to tie ties and how to act in a formal dinner setting.

“Ultimately we just want our community to be in a better place where all of our citizens feel like they’re being supported from the ground up,” Ward said. “This isn’t just about us, but about impacting the entire city of Plant City.”

Registration for the Christmas event is going on now through Eventbrite.com or by contacting one of the men involved. Anyone who would like to donate can contact Lamar at [email protected] or at 813-720-9792 so he can arrange a pickup of the items.

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