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Celebrating Neighborhoods

April 10, 2024

It was a night to celebrate our neighborhoods.

In a move straight out of Hollywood, the Lucas County Land Bank transformed Imagination Station's KeyBank Discovery Theater into a celebration of Toledo's neighborhoods. It was no ordinary night – it was the Land Bank's biggest community update yet, packed with local stories and exciting announcements.

The evening unfolded like a captivating movie. After welcoming remarks from Board Chair Lindsay M. Webb, we met Sonia Flunder-McNair and Gloria Wright, stars of the show (well, a short film!) alongside the stunning Tatum Park. Their story highlighted the Land Bank's partnership with residents to revitalize the Junction neighborhood, sparking a lively discussion with Shantae Brownlee about Urban Wholistics, Ms. Flunder-McNair's inspiring organization.

The next act showcased John Amato, CEO of JūpMode, revealing how the Land Bank helped them establish their headquarters in UpTown Toledo. But the story didn't stop there. Ambrea Mikolajczyk of ARK Development and Brandon Sehlhorst, Toledo's economic development champion, took the stage to discuss the Land Bank's role in securing high-profile projects like The Four Corners Project, fueling Toledo's economic comeback.

The audience then joined Kayla McCadney and A'Daris Lavelle Welch on screen, residents making a difference in the Clinton Park neighborhood. Their film showcased the Land Bank's RISE Neighborhoods, building a stronger community from the ground up. Applause erupted as Amelia Gibbon, head of Reinvest Toledo and a Land Bank board member, took center stage, sharing their history of empowering low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

With anticipation at a fever pitch, David Mann introduced the final act – a chronicle of the Land Bank's partnership with Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity from the voice of Erin McPartland, its Executive Director. The big reveal? The Land Bank and Habitat are teaming up to create up to 8 affordable homeownership opportunities through an application to the Welcome Home Ohio program.

And the grand finale? The Land Bank proudly unveiled a new film, "Building Neighborhoods," a masterpiece showcasing their efforts to mend what's broken and create lasting change. The message was clear: when Toledo's residents join forces, transformation is truly possible.