The spirit of Akron was in full celebration at the 10th annual Growing Up Akron, a benefit for Child Guidance & Family Solutions.

The Aug. 16 event, which included Akron's favorite foods, was held at The Trailhead at Cascade Lofts downtown.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan recognized the organization and its work with a city proclamation as the crowd of 260 people looked on.

Chief Executive Officer Karen Talbott said, “We want to help children and families have the best life possible.”

This year’s honorary chairman was Jeff Wilhite, who attended with his wife, Cindy. Committee members included Ace Epps, Michael Batu, Amy Dawson, Jennifer Duncan, Erin Johnson, Yoly Miller, Cathryn O’Malley, Jennifer Riley, Fran Buchholzer and David Woodburn.

“I see kids every day who benefit from the services being offered,” said Patrick Bravo.

Other supporters in attendance included Michelle S. Felder, Joe Hinkle, Paul and Janice Weaver, Beth Judy, Darleen Rocco, Patrick Watson, Qiana Harper, Amy Glendlan, Erin Queenan and Tiffany Roper. Roper said she especially loved Akron specialties from Swensons and Norka. She added that it was important for her to be there since she is an advocate for mental health.

All of the funds raised will help to provide emotional, mental and behavioral health services and programs to children, teens and adults in the community.

Development Director Lesley Hoover said Child Guidance & Family Solutions hoped to raise about $50,000 at the event.

“This is about celebrating the community,” said Liz Menefee.

Gail McQuaide, who owns Rubber City Clothing, had her sons Cole and Kyle McQuaide staffing her booth. She said, “We need to take pride in where we live and everyone has a connection to Akron.”