NEW ORLEANS -- Two local successful men have never forgotten where they came from: the Lower 9th Ward. And they are each on a mission to show the children who live there now, a path to similar success.
Saturday, the two teamed up for the first time to create an even stronger impact.
At first glance, it may look like just a fun, family event in the Lower 9th Ward, with music, food, games, a school supply giveaway, and local celebrities like mixologist DJ Ro and Pelican Assistant Coach Robert Pack. But this at the heart of the event is something well thought out, with a much deeper message.
The event happens every year because DJ Ro and Coach Robert Pack grew up in the Lower 9th Ward, and they're successful in business and in life. And they want to teach the children who live there now, that they can do the same and live on a positive path.
"We just want to come back to the 9th Ward where I first started DJing from Lawless Senior High School and we just wanted to keep it going and encourage the kids to give back and teach them how to give back and just do something positive for the community," said DJ Ro of the Don't Even Trip Dream Foundation.
As a longtime radio personality with Q93, he recognizes that some of the popular hip hop music the children hear, doesn't send positive messages. So he wants to show them there's another side to life.
"I think it's important right now because, you know, we have so much negativity going on in the world, so we think it's very important to share light," DJ Ro added.
Coach Pack encouraged the children, making physical fitness fun.
"It means the world (to be here). I knew, I walked these streets and I was one of these kids. And I know coming back and giving back to these kids and showing that there is a chance for them, and I know there's a few more of me out here," said Pelican Assistant Coach Robert Pack of the Robert Pack Foundation.
An NOPD officer from the Fifth District, taught the children how to ask questions in an investigation.
"It's important because they're the corner stone of our community. Without the kids, we really, we have no future, so it's important for us to reach out to them and touch them and try to guide them into the right direction," said Officer Abram Pedesclaux.
Outside, DJ Ro's brother 'Action Jackson' manned the grill.
"We have hot dogs for the kids. And what we do like, they say on the song, we smack it up, flip it, and rub it down with some barbecue sauce and they call that Naturally N'awlins."
And the message the children are taking home from adults is positive.
"That they care for us," said Myron Lastie, 12.
"That everybody should always get along with each other," said Aneah Gordon, 9.
DJ Ro Foundation: https://www.donteventripdreamfoundation.org/
The Robert Pack Foundation is in the process of relaunch its website.