Neighborhood Association of Childs Park


Neighborhood News

Childs Park YMCA Annual Back Pack and School Supply GiveWay

Posted by brojohn47 on August 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

On behalf of myself and the Childs Park Neighborhood Association, I would like to say thank you to Sis Deborah Figgs-Sanders for her outstanding work and service to the community. She is a great friend, mentor and Big Sister to me and I can always count on her.

This video is from the annual Back Pack and School Supply giveaway that she does at the Childs Park YMCA. Sis Deborah, we salute you, your staff and all of the wonderful volunteers that have made this event a huge success year after year. You all continue to provide an excellent example of what we mean when we say we're #‎PuttingNeighborBackInTheHood.



Another great day in the Childs Park Neighborhood.

Posted by brojohn47 on August 20, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Another great day in the Childs Park Neighborhood. We would like to thank Pastor Brian K. Brown and the Believing Family of St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church for hosting their annual "Back to School Bash" at the Childs Park Recreation Center.

We had a great time in the Lord while they gave away school supplies, hundreds of back packs and dozens of free haircuts. This is a wonderful example of what we mean when we say we're #‎PuttingNeighborBackInTheHood.




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NBA champion Marreese Speights back in Childs Park

Posted by brojohn47 on July 2, 2015 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer for the Weekly Challenger

ST. PETERSBURG — As the six o’clock start time approached, the event celebrating world champion Marreese Speights of the Golden State Warriors would have been a sellout had admission been required. Cars lined the streets surrounding Childs Park Recreation Center, the place where it all started for Speights. The standing-room-only crowd showed support and welcomed home St. Petersburg’s latest favorite son.

“It was so incredibly refreshing to see a young man who was born and raised right here in this community come back and speak to the youth,” said Shawn  M. Drouin of the TASCO Teen program, a division of the Parks and Recreation Department with the City of St. Petersburg.

“It’s not too often our youth or community get an opportunity to talk to and get autographs from a NBA champion,” said Drouin. “I had a unique perspective from the stage and I got to see first-hand how mezmorized the audience was.”

Speights grew up playing at Childs Park. He played basketball at St. Petersburg’s Admiral Farragut Academy, which retired his jersey after one year. He also played basketball at Hargrave Military Academy (senior year) and Gibbs High School. He was considered a four-star recruit by, was listed as the number 13 power forward and the number 51 player in the nation in 2006.

Speights began his career at Florida in 2006, and won a national championship with the Gators.  After his sophomore season, he declared himself eligible for the 2008 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the 16th pick of the first round in the 2008 NBA Draft.

January 4, 2012, Speights was acquired by the Memphis Grizzlies, and on January 22, 2013, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He then signed with the Golden State Warriors on July 12, 2013. Speights won his first NBA championship with the Warriors after they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in this year’s NBA Finals in six games.

“Marreese is a real life example for our youth of when skills and opportunity are properly applied great things can happen,” said Nikki Gaskin-Capehart, Director of Urban Affairs. “For the community, this is a great example of the power of oneness and collaboration. In less than a week, people came together for a common purpose, which was to bring celebration to our youth and recognize one of our own.”

The event was spearheaded by Community Opportunity for Our People (COOP). COOP was started in 2014 by Tony Macon and Eddie Pelham. Macon had ACT Right; Pelham had Moving Forward With A Purpose. Both programs geared toward helping at-risk youths. Same work. Same language. Same community. The two combined both programs to develop COOP.

“This event brought together a lot of people who cares about our youth and the community. It allowed our young people to dream and see someone out of their neighborhood accomplish something,” said Pelham who complimented Speights’ family.

Drouin’s excitement said it all: “I got to see the pure joy when Marreese got his key to the city. He was smiling from ear to ear. You could call Marreese many things due to his accomplishments on the court, D-1 NCAA champion, NBA first round draft pick, very solid NBA player—but now he must be addressed as NBA Champion! And it started in Childs Park right here in St. Petersburg.”

More than Mayors: Joint Cleanup on 49th Street

Posted by brojohn47 on November 6, 2014 at 9:40 PM Comments comments (0)

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson at 49th Street Clean Up

By: Cathy Salustri - The Gulfport Gabber Published: November 3, 2014


Although billed as a joint mayoral cleanup, organizers and many of the 125-plus volunteers who swept 49th Street for litter Saturday morning say the morning was about more than trash. What mattered to many of the participants was the unification of both sides of the street.

“I think the cleanup was a monumental first step in breaking down barriers, changing perceptions and establishing a working relationship that is mutually beneficial to the residents on both sides of 49th Street,” Childs Park Neighborhood Association president Brother John Muhammad said.

“It is about more than litter,” Gulfport Neighbors president Margarete Tober said. “It is about community collaboration. We hope that Saturday's event leads to further social and economic collaboration. The time is right, the political climate is right, let us make this the start of new beginnings. We are and should only be divided by four lanes of asphalt-nothing else.”

Childs Park Teen Council, Gulfport Little League, Childs Park Neighborhood Association and Westminster Heights Neighborhood Association turned out for the Gulfport Neighbors-organized cleanup. The turnout pleasantly surprised the Gulfport Neighbors.

 Members of the Childs Park Teen Council during 49th Street Clean up

“It brought tears of joy,” Tober said. “There were more people than I ever expected.”

Although So49, the business group allegedly representing 49th Street businesses, did not send any volunteers or materially participate in the cleanup, President Jeri Reed offered “good wishes,” according to Tober and told the group she would attend “in spirit.”

In all, volunteers collected over 200 pounds of trash, which often came in the form of drug baggies, cigarette butts and snack wrappers.

“When you consider it is mostly paper, plastic and Styrofoam cups, soda and beer cans and bottles, cigarette butts and drug paraphernalia, I think it is a great deal of trash,” Tober said.

Jason Pelszynski, one of the few 49th Street business owners who participated in the cleanup (The Gabber and the Sharp Edge barber shop offered rest areas, water and bathroom facilities along the route), said the joint effort was long overdue.

"It’s about time we pulled together for something like this. While there’s always going to be trash and all of it isn’t going to end up in the can, we can do more together than apart to keep 49th Street tidy,” he said. “The cleanup helped promote a unified approach to the issue and I hope it can make a difference along this bustling business corridor. And keeping this neighborhood clean and tidy can not only boost the image from the public’s perspective but can also help encourage a sense of pride from residents and other business owners.”

St. Petersburg’s new police chief, Anthony Holloway, participated in the cleanup, as did Gulfport Police Chief Rob Vincent. When presented with complaints about the Quick Stop and neighboring wig store, Holloway went inside both stores and promised “we’ll be out here next week.”

Holloway said he wanted to get the mobile substation to the parking lot of the Quick Stop for officers roll call. He also promised to review certain business practices at the store in regards to alcohol consumption.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman told the crowd at the start of the cleanup, “We’re just separated by a street,” adding, “It’s about time we started paying attention to it.”

Holloway, along the cleanup route, mused over the divide between the two cities.

“How do we take down this border?” he said. “It’s going to take the community.”

After Saturday’s cleanup, residents and businesses from both sides of the street talked about future joint projects.

“I know it’s only been a few days since we were out there with our bags, pickers and gloves,” Pelszynski said Tuesday afternoon, “but I can tell you honestly that the street is still gleaming and I haven’t had to clean up the usual weekend debris that normally accumulates in front of the studio. Let’s do more of these!”

Muhammad agrees.

“We are interested in developing joint ventures with the Childs Park Neighborhood Association and Gulfport teen councils to address some of the concerns and challenges that face our youth in the near future,” he told the Gabber. “I think it would be great to work with the future leaders, groom them and allow them to determine the ‘next steps’ because any plan or idea for the future must include them.”

Contact Cathy Salustri at [email protected]