The words, ‘Thank you’ do not seem to be enough!
1 year ago admin 0
Ballin’ in the Park started out with a simple idea to get the kids back to playing in the park and a way for me to honor my grandmother, Ms. Sarah Mae Jackson. To be more specific it was a way to get ‘the Alley’, the park myself a lot of my family & friends grew up playing in, back to what it use to be in the 90’s. Back in those days, there would always be kids playing on the monkey bars, merry-go-round & swings; both sides of the basketball courts full with competitive hi-intense games (basketball, kickball, stick-ball, racing and anything else we could compete at) and a strong community bond within those 4 streets that we call ‘the Alley’. The most memorable days were Saturdays, the basketball games would start at 12p and go until the lights came on; And us kids would either watch, play our own 1/2 court games or dance (there was always one car that would have their trunk open & play the radio). Those were the days!!
With that being said, growing up in the ‘the Alley’ was awesome! How could it not be with your best friend(s) right next door or just around the corner and a park right up the street to play in! And we were more than neighbors, we had become extended family! No matter what changed in our lives, the park and the feeling of home always remained the same.
Well it turns out that Ballin’ in the Park turned out to be exactly what the community needed! A place to reconnect, build new friendships, enjoy the park with good music and celebrate community! With the help of some amazing people & local businesses & organizations, I was able to share what I and many others loved about being a kid in South River with the new generation.
Thank you to all of the beautiful women who graciously volunteer their time (Janice Taylor, Victoria Hill, Angelina Figueroa, Leeah Thomas, Stephanie Abass-Shereef & Kathleen Whitaker). Also, thank you to all the men who also graciously volunteered their time & services as well (Darryl Taylor, Rodney Harris, Terrance Pittman, James Vitucci, Dwayne Pollard, Vincent Jackson, Jakeel Foster, Tremelle Dobbins & Deon Jackson). And I would like to recognize our individual sponsors! Throughout the 5 years we have had individuals and local businesses donate without wanting any acknowledgment, well to those kind-hearted souls, I would like to say, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I would also like to take the time to give some special shout out to our sponsors and the families who were a big part of making Ballin in the Park a success for the last 5 years!
To Mr. & Mrs. Vitucci, thank you & your beautiful family for your support & allowing us to use your electric, so that DJ Mistar-Ish could keep the vibe upbeat & fun! It would not have been the same without having your support!
To Mr. & Mrs. Ishmael Abass-Shereef , the words thank you don’t seem to be enough. I am so thankful to have the support of your beautiful family! Your commitment and dedication is admirable and the community would not be the same without you!
To Mr. Rui & Ria Mar, your belief in community and giving back to the kids is unwavering and I thank you for supporting Passion 4 Youth & your community with no hesitation! Thank you so much for your continuous support & dedication to the kids!
To the Whitakers, again I am so thankful for all of your support with everything to do with Passion 4 Youth! It all started with you trusting me with one of your awesome son! Thank you for your constant support and commitment to the growth of Passion 4 Youth.
To Eddie Yorek & the South River Superior Officers Association (PBA Local 62A), thank you for your continuous support and supporting the kids in our community, as well as coming out and supporting the event!
“Quality of life actually begins at home – it’s in your street, around your community. ”
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” -Coretta Scott King
The words, ‘thank you’ do not seem to be enough! I am internal grateful and appreciative of my community! I appreciate every last one of the kids who came out in the hot sun and rejuvenated the park, that means so much to many of us in the community! And their participation isn’t possible without the amazing parents in our community, thank you all for believing in me (Audrey Taylor) and my organization that sets out to inspire our kids to be leaders and to pursue their dreams!
In the 5 years, the most fulfilling moment hosting this event has given me, was inspiring the new generation to want to give back to those coming behind them! I had a young man approach me with an educated well thought out idea that him and a couple friends had come up with and I couldn’t be more proud of them for thinking outside of themselves! Now its their turn and our job to support their dreams and help them build an event that will continue to inspire!
And if I haven’t said it enough, let me say it one last time and this truly comes from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!! I am looking forward to the next generation taking the patton and running with it!
Coach Audrey Taylor
Founder & CEO, Passion 4 Youth, Inc.