The Red Caboose Page 398
here are increasing signs that Altoonians have come to regard
their city as a truly special place. “Cinder City Days” has long
been a rallying point for them. This three-day annual event held in
June is centered at the Altoona City Park and the Altoona Hobbs
Sports building. It provides entertainment, a carnival, parade, and
miscellaneous activities to celebrate Altoona’s railroading past.
The Altoona VFW Post 10405, provides monthly breakfasts
where Altoonians and others may gather to eat, talk, and linger as
they enjoy good fellowship with one another. There were also
some signs of a re-awakening of the Post’s interest in establishing
a long-delayed veteran’s park .– this time in the new River Prairie
In the summer of 2009, there were additional indicators that
Altoonians want to make their city special.
Family Ties-Altoona, a grassroots organization, has become
actively interested in the construction of a community center. The
group, initially consisting of ten parents, sought to “promote a
stronger, more unified sense of community in a clean and safe
environment.” In their view, there was a lack of recreational
opportunities outside of those provided by the school.
Out of the woodwork, they came in June 2009. 10 parents of
children who attend Altoona Schools (Maurice McIntyre, Tammy
McIntyre, Jason Jones, Andrea Jones, Bhaskar Gaddam, Udaya
Gaddam, Yee Ngan, Julie Tobias, Neil Bauer, and Cora Overboe).
They are ethnically, socially, politically, and economically diverse
with the desire to encourage the Altoona Community to "embrace
diversity through experience". Where little or no activities existed
on a regular basis that were friendly for all ages, Family Ties
decided to open a Community Center that serves all people in
Altoona that is a chill cafe for adults and an arts club for students.
Fund-raising activities for the non-profit organization include an
annual Taste of Harmony Fest held around July at the Altoona City