By Jake Kulju
September 22, 2009 may have seemed like any other day, but on University Avenue, it was a day of celebration. Hundreds of people gathered for free food, entertainment and speeches from local politicians, including a welcome from mayor Chris Coleman, at the new Community Solutions Center at 712 University Ave.
The event marked the grand opening of the center, a joint effort of the University Avenue Business Association (UABA), the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), University UNITED and U-Plan.
The open house was held from 3 to 6 p.m., with a welcome by the mayor and program beginning at 4:30 p.m. Special guests included City Council members Russ Stark and Melvin Carter III, County Commissioners Toni Carter and Janice Rettman, state Reps. Alice Hausman, Erin Murphy, Phyllis Kahn and Cy Thao and state Sens. Mee Moua and Dick Cohen.
Several large tents spanned the parking area in front of the new Community Solutions Center, covering tables full of free food from local businesses. Food and beverages were provided by Abundant Catering, China One, Chindian, Mai Village, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, Saigon Restaurant, Shuang Hur Supermarket and SugaRush.
The grand opening of the center was sponsored by US Bank, Update Company, Impressive Print, Lao Family Community and Lifetrack Resources.