Last weekend, the Simonds-Johnson Park Community Reunion Committee (SJPCRC) celebrated their fourth community celebration at the Simonds-Johnson Park in north Jacksonvillle. On Saturday from noon until early evening, nearly 300 people gathered to enjoy a day of reminiscing and connecting with old friends.
SJPCRC Chairman Yvonne Brockington established the committee in 2015 with the mission of honoring the late Coach Carlton “Soft Kid” Bryant and Mrs. Sally Bryant. Coach Bryant, a former coach started his career at Simond-Johnson Park in 1955 and continued until the 80’s when he retired from the City of Jacksonville Parks Dept.
According to Brockington, “For over 30 years Coach and Ms. Sally nurtured, inspired and motivated young adults in the community.”
“Many community leaders, athletes, entertainers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, politicians and other honest hard working citizens gathered for recreational activities at Simonds-Johnson Park Community,” she added.
This year’s reunion started with prayers, followed by the attendees singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Also on the program was a flag ceremony entrusted to American Legion Post 197 Color Guards.
The day included outdoor dancing, performances, sports and food. The weekend culminated with worship service at Faust Temple Church of God In Christ where SJPCRC presented the church scholarship fund with a donation of one thousand dollars to be used for deserving college students.
“Each year we have more and more people from around the city join our committee. To us those were the days.” said Brockington.