Daily Herald
Elgin flash mob raises awareness for social services
By Larissa Chinwah | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 6/4/2010 3:26 PM

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Hundreds of people broke out into a simultaneous shimmy Friday in downtown Elgin as part of a worldwide effort to raise awareness for social services.

The flash mob - a large group of people who gather in public areas to perform quick stunts - converged on DuPage Square just after 1 p.m. to the surprise of onlookers lunching at the eateries in the area. The group, many of whose members wore white T-shirts emblazoned with the social issues and services they support, twirled umbrellas and danced to Rihanna's "Umbrella."

Elgin resident Nina Dulabaum, who participated in support of the Community Crisis Center, said the event would focus attention on the need for social services and the state's financial crisis that could force many to shut down.

"The Crisis Center offers so many incredible services to the community and it needs to be brought to attention that it is threatened," Dulabaum said. "The funding from the state is not coming in and people don't realize that."

Others, like Brandon Copeland, 12, of Elgin, took part for the novelty. Copeland and a group of classmates from Creekside Elementary School joined the crowd after their last day of school.

"We had never done one before and it sounded like fun, so we tried it out," Brandon said.

Organizer Sarah Evans, a public relations consultant from Elgin, said the umbrella was chosen because of its portability and symbolism.

"We are supporting social service agencies and we wanted to do a flash mob that anyone could participate in regardless of abilities or disabilities," Evans said. "The umbrella is also a protector. The song was chosen because wanted to bring people together to unite and support one another, and the song talks about just that."