Annual Events  

Each year, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. supports and hosts five annual community events.  Keep scrolling to read about each event and view our photo galleries from years past!  


The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program was created by the IRS to assist families with free income tax preparation. At BBC, we provide this program during the tax season months at no cost and for the benefit of those who need a trusted organization to accurately prepare their confidential information.  We believe that the tax payer should not give most of their refund to paid income preparers when those dollars can be kept within the family. 

For four tax seasons, Omelia Thornton and a team of committed volunteers have spearheaded the VITA program at Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. in the Central and Kinsman neighborhoods. In tax year 2014, the VITA center went from 0 clients to serving 724 clients, bringing $928,000 back into the community and a savings of $90,125 in income tax prep fees. In tax year 2015 again, the VITA center increased from 724 clients to 1,033 clients and returned $1.2 million back into the community and a savings of $129,125 in income tax prep fees.  In year 2016 tax clients increased from 1,033 to 1,484 and returned $2 million back into the community, saving $185,500 in paid tax preparation fees.  This 4th year was a recording breaking one. The center served 3,826 clients and received the award, “The Most Returns Prepared.”  We also put $2.7 million back into the community, which includes savings of $223,000 in paid income tax preparation fees.

We are recruiting volunteers to provide quality free income tax preparation to residents and to greet clients.  Anyone can sign up to become a volunteer.  No experience is necessary, just attend a Coalition-led training to become an IRS-certified volunteer income tax preparer.  Sign up today by visiting or call Omelia Thornton at 216-341-1455 for more information.

We look forward to you volunteering or helping you with your income taxes!

Call to action button: Click here to register to volunteer online.

Ward 5 Community Family Festival and Parade 

Every summer, residents unite and celebrate the historical past and bright future of Central and Kinsman at the Ward 5 Community Family Festival and Parade.  The theme of this family event is “Ward 5 United: Working Together as One,” which was crafted by neighborhood youth who see the festival as a conduit to positive change, creative ideas and fun activities for the Ward 5 neighborhoods.

The first family festival was hosted in 2006 at Friendly Inn Settlement, Inc., 2386 Unwin Road, near East 55th Street and Quincy Avenue.  In 2007, the event kicked off with a parade led by Mayor Frank Jackson, Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, and representatives from community groups and local businesses with residents joining in along the way.  A parade has been held every year since then.  

Festival entertainment includes dance, music, drama, poetry and performances.  Activities, such as face painting, bracelet making, and inflatable playground equipment, are available for the enjoyment of children.  The event also features free food, the City of Cleveland Show Wagon, senior activities, service providers distributing informational materials, health screenings and merchant and food vendors.

This event would not be possible without the annual support and enthusiasm from Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland, Friendly Inn Settlement, Inc., Central Family to Family Collaborative, and Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.  The success of past events is also largely attributed to additional event sponsors such as the City of Cleveland, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cuyahoga Arts and Culture, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority and Cleveland Public Powers.

BBC is proud to help bring this event to life each year.  For more information or to participate as a sponsor or vendor, call BBC’s office at 216-341-1455 and ask for Sherita Mullins

Open Streets Central 

Open Streets Central is a day-long event that temporarily closes sections of Community College Avenue and Quincy Avenue to vehicular traffic to make room for people-powered movement like walking, biking, dancing, skating, and more.  

During Open Streets Central’s inaugural event in 2017, over 3,000 residents came out to enjoy a day of family-friendly fun that included art activities, fitness classes, live music, and food.  

In recent years, residents have had the opportunity to attend a planning workshop prior to the event to help the Open Streets team decide where and what type of activities are located along the Open Streets route.

Senior Gift Cards 

Each December, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. and Ward 5 Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland coordinate the distribution of $20 gift cards to Dave’s grocery store.  Low-income seniors age 55 and older are eligible to receive one gift card per household after providing proof of income and residency.  Gift cards are distributed at Cornucopia Place, next to BBC’s office.  

Resident Appreciation Event 

Every year, Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. host’s a celebratory event to reflect on our work throughout the year, recognize community members for their contributions, and celebrate the upcoming holidays. This event costs 65$ per person, but community members being recognized are able to attend free of charge. Check our event calendar in November to find out the date and location of this year’s event.  

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