by Lynn Jones
The Simonds-Johnson Park Community Reunion Committee recently held its Inaugural Scholarship Fundraising Prayer Breakfast at the Marriott Hotel on Salisbury Rd.
Chaplain Saundra Waldrop served as the guest speaker expresing the theme “It’s Praying Time” in the hearts, minds and spirits of the attendees. The reunion committee is tasked with continuing the legacy of Coach Carlton “softkid” Bryant, a former coach who started his career at SJB in 1955 and continued until the 80’s when he retired form the City of Jacksonville.
“For over three decades Coach Bryant coached local children at the park. We had swimming lessons, played sports and engaged in cultural activities. He was also a father figure to many of the kids in the neighborhood,” said organizer Yvonne Brockington.
Simonds-Johnson Park is located at the intersection of 12th Street and Moncrief Rd. in northwest Jacksonville. Many neighborhood youngsters have benefited from its athletic facilities such as professional athletes Ken Burroughs of the Houston Oilers and Leonard (Truck) Robinson of the Washington Bullets. A community center was built on the grounds in 1957, and it received a major renovation in 1993.
The committee will host a reunion weekend celebration scheduled for September 23-25, 2017.