SYRACUSE, N.Y. (N.C.C. News) – Decarto Draper Jr. just recently celebrated his seventh year as the head of Tucker Missionary Baptist Church. With that, he wanted to fully realize an idea he’s had for a long time, the Full Life Festival. The festival is a week-long community outreach and informational event providing resources on lead poisoning, financial literacy, and Alzheimer’s treatment awareness, among many other things.
The event, selling fish fry food plates and dedicating an entire floor for local vendors to sell products ranging from candles to women’s dresses, was designed to serve as a bridge between the church and the community. The logic behind making it free is to maximize attendance and leave no excuses for community members to be educated on certain pressing matters, according to Draper. Despite this being only the second iteration of the festival, the event has gained some significant momentum within the South Side community, and Draper plans to expand and change the program and guest speakers on a year-to-year basis based on the community’s ever changing needs.
Draper is keenly in tune with respect and sway his church has in the community, and he wants to use Tucker’s platform to give back to the community in a multitude of ways. He emphasized the festival being open to any and everybody, not just church members. With attendance and the success of the festival booming, it’ll only become a bigger and better resource for a community desperately in need of it.