Teacher brings College Drive community together

Published 10:58 pm Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When Creekside Elementary School physical education teacher Erik Johnson moved to Suffolk from New York, he said he found his new home in the College Drive area had a bit of a bad reputation.

He said he doesn’t think people from other communities look highly upon the area or the residents who live there. But because he enjoyed his time there so much, he decided he wanted to have an event for the College Drive community.

From that passion, Johnson hosted a football game and barbecue for local children and their families in 2005. Every year since, he has continued to put on Coach Johnson’s Annual College Drive Football Barbecue.

Email newsletter signup

This year’s event will take place Saturday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the park near Magnolia Drive in North Suffolk. It is free and open to the public.

Johnson said he got the idea to host the event as a way to have an activity for the children in the College Drive community, but it’s grown to be bigger every year since its inception.

He hopes it will motivate families to get outside and get active. He added it’s an opportunity for people to get to know their neighbors in a relaxed setting.

Johnson said the College Drive game and barbecue is an event for everyone to come out, enjoy the day and forget about the worries of everyday life.

“With all the stress that comes with that, I think you need a release,” he said.

Johnson is getting help from local Chick-fil-A and Farm Fresh stores to provide food for this year’s event.

Johnson, along with other community members, will be manning the grill to prepare lunch.

Though it started for the College Drive residents, Johnson said he welcomes everyone in surrounding communities to come out and join the fun.

For more information on the event, contact Erik Johnson at Creekside Elementary School at 923-4251.