Many people thanked for help with event

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2005

Editor, the News-Herald:

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the South Suffolk-Pleasant Hill Civic League celebrated the first &uot;Community Day&uot; event at the Mary E. Estes Park located at the corner of Dill Road and Hunter Street. It was a wonderful event of community fellowship and togetherness. The purpose of the event was to bring the neighborhood together in fellowship and fun for the children.

Many thanks and appreciation are extended to Lakita Frazier, Director of Parks and Recreation and her staff for all in-kind services provided, including setting up and disassembling of equipment. Personal contributions of water, sodas and Huggie drinks by Ms. Frazier were greatly appreciated and helped to keep the 200 adults and children refreshed in the heat. The registration coordinators were Linda Diane West and Adelaide Biggs Montgomery.

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Also, our focus was to honor our community leaders, namely Councilman Curtis Milteer, Whaleyville Borough. Mrs. Dorothy Ricks, lifelong member of the civic leaguer, and the late Edna Savage, who had served as president of the South Suffolk-Pleasant Hill Civic League for 27 years. Awards were presented to each honoree or family representative.

President Eleanor Clark was mistress of ceremonies for the Community Day program. The program began with the children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Then civic league member Brenda Joyner lead the audience in singing &uot;America the Beautiful.&uot; Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett gave the prayer of invocation. Member Janice Howell extended words of welcome.

Other highlights included echoes from former members of the community. Mrs. Susie Bennett shared childhood memories of the neighborhood and how Mrs. Ricks was always working to improve conditions of the community. She stated that Mrs. Ricks was very instrumental in getting the local cemetery upgraded (Pleasant Hill Cemetery). Next, Mrs. Amanda Rodgers shared a brief history of the late Mrs. Mary E. Estes, a great pioneer in education who taught several generations of children in the South Suffolk-Pleasant Hill neighborhood. The park is named in her honor.

W. Lamont Strothers, founder and owner of Strut Wear and former NBA player of the Portland Trailblazers and Dallas Mavericks, was present to talk with the youth. Other former neighborhood participants who spoke were Athalia P. Robinson, Lillian Mitchell Jones and a voice of youth speaker Karon Jones.

At the conclusion of the program, the president invited all to enjoy a time of food, fun and fellowship. Julian and Tammy McCloud (daughter and son-in-law of President Clark), provided fun and games for the children: Go-cart ridges, jump rope and mini basketball games. Prizes were awarded to selected winners. At the end of the event the civic league presented each child with a gift bag of school supplies. At least 100 gifts were given out.

Once again, we enjoyed a wonderful day of unity for the community. Thanks to all our friends and supporters for monetary donations. A special thanks to local businesses, namely Wal-Mart, Farm Fresh, Food Lion (Portsmouth Boulevard) and Fresh Pride for donations of gift cards.

Marion Wright


South Suffolk-Pleasant Hill Civic League