Ninth Annual Freedom Inc. Summer Pot-Luck and Tournament
A Youthful Celebration of Summer
By Jonathan Gramling
Nine years ago, the leaders of Freedom, Inc., an agency oriented toward
Hmong youth, saw there wasn’t anything going on for their peers. So they
decided to do something about it. “The first year, a bunch of high-school drop-
outs who had nothing to do, decided to do something for the community,” said
True Thao, the organizer of this year’s event. “We didn’t have anything to do here
in Madison. We thought about a basketball tournament and hosting a volleyball
tournament also. And we now have a flag football tournament. So far, it’s a good
That was an understatement as over 200 Hmong youth and some of their
elders enjoyed a summer’s afternoon at Reindahl Park on August 14.
Basketball and volleyball tournaments were in full competition and there was a
piñata for the younger children to take swings at until the piñata’s candies fell to
the ground for the children to gleefully recover. And there was plenty of good
grilled food to go around.
It was a good, peaceful gathering of Hmong youth in one of their — and
Madison’s — parks. A good time was definitely held by all.
|Clockwise from top: Tracy Benson (l)
and True Thao; A youth takes a last
swing at the pinata before it is broken;
The basketball tornament brings out
a lot of competition. The volleyball
tournament in full swing;