When some of the restaurant and bar owners on Manchester presented the idea of a unique festival coming to Forest Park Southeast, Brian Phillips, Executive Director of WUMC, agreed that the time was right. “This neighborhood has been desiring a neighborhood wide festival that could bring together residents and visitors to celebrate the city and a rejuvenated area,” stated Phillips. “We had been hoping that something like Grove Fest would occur, but we knew that it needed the leadership from the night clubs and restaurants in order for it to be successful,” added Phillips. WUMC did not only want to be a financial contributor, but also wanted to show support by being part of the planning committee. To pull off a festival of this size, WUMC knew there would be plenty of preparation work involved. Brooks Goedeker, WUMC’s Community Development Specialist, served on the planning committee and chaired the volunteer committee. “We had over 120 volunteers participate on the day of Grove Fest. It was really amazing to see so many people give their time and energy to create such a successful event,” stated Goedeker. Goedeker worked with area volunteer organizations, including Step Up St. Louis, Fuel For the City, and Washington University’s Community Service Connection. Goedeker also noted that about 50 of the volunteers were residents of Forest Park Southeast and other volunteers varied from those who were supporters of the city to those who had never heard of Forest Park Southeast but enjoyed giving their time to good causes. Overall, Grove Fest, which occurred on September 23, 2006, was seen as a huge success that brought thousands of visitors to the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. WUMC is hopeful that Grove Fest will become an annual neighborhood celebration.