Real Men get cooking for Father’s Day

After 18 years of proving real men cook, the organization of the same name, which features men from a variety of backgrounds, will host its annual event on Father’s Day, June 15, at the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. Shore Dr. As in past years, the

Among the 45 men attending a recent recruitment rally were 36- year-old Mack McGhee, and 27- year-old Jeffrey Gould, both single fathers and first timers to the event. “I have always wanted to join but could never find the time,” he said. “More positive role models for our young, Black men are needed in the Black community.”

Gould added that with all the shootings claiming so many youth, he felt compelled to get involved. “I couldn’t keep sitting back watching our next generation of Black men gunned down,” he said. “So much is taking place with our teenagers nowadays that it has now become the responsibility of every Black man, church and community to step up and do whatever you can to make a difference.” The 19th Annual Real Men Cook begins at 3 p.m.

The outdoor cookout features men volunteers cooking different foodsûfrom barbecue to spaghettiûfor the public. The event occurs simultaneously in Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Phoenix. Cooking participants pay a $35 registration fee and must complete a three-hour cooking and safety class paid for by Real Men. The basic class is needed to ensure meals are properly prepared and all sanitation requirements are met.

Cooks purchase their own food for the event. Event proceeds are donated to charity. To date, $1.6 million has been donated to charities by Real Men, said Yvette Moyo, who founded the organization with her husband Kofi. “Black men do not have the time to take a casual attitude about fatherhood especially when our young boys are out here killing one another,” she said.

“This annual [cookout] event gives single mothers with sons a place to bring them on Father’s Day.” Last year’s event attracted 2,000 people bringing the total number of men who have participated since its inception to 8,000, according to Yvette Moyo. “We normally average 150 [male] volunteers at the cookout, so each year we’re growing,” she said.

A second recruitment rally will be held May 17. The time and location has not been determined yet. For more information, call 773-651-8008.

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