After a summer of tumult, two old friends who lived near Roosevelt Elementary School in Elkhart, Ind., decades ago came back to their old stomping grounds because, as the saying goes, their “hood needs them.”

As reported by the Elkhart Truth, Mayor Dick Moore and Skyline Corp. founder Art Decio, who both lived just blocks from the now historic Roosevelt Center and played basketball some 60 years ago in the gym, held a news conference Tuesday (Sept. 30) to announce Decio’s desire to boost plans for a new movie night program at the gym.

Moore said his longtime friend agreed to provide $20,000 to purchase a high definition movie projector and other equipment needed to start a free weekly movie program sought by the year-old nonprofit group “My Hood Needz Me.”

A source of additional funding became necessary after a fundraising effort tied to the group’s Labor Day Weekend Southside Family Fun Fest at Roosevelt Park fell short.

Tuesday’s announcement also comes after a rocky summer in which residents of the neighboirhood complained about police harassment and expressed concern that more needed to be done to help the impoverished section of the city.

With the gift, the gym will become a theater house on Friday nights that will feature free movies on a screen stretching 16 feet across the gym’s performance stage.

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