Southwest Illinois News ETC...
Southwest Illinois News is an interactive site with news & information. Click on names of attractions or pictures to access feature pages.
"If it's happening in St. Louis, it's on Saint Louis Front Page."
The evolution starts here...
Southwest Illinois News is
designed & hosted by the
Moore Design Group.
Southwest Illinois News ETC... A Pictorial Review of News & Events within the Southwestern Illinois
Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Boy's and Girl's Club Opens the Door For Future Children
The ceremony got under way by the welcoming remarks of the events hostess, the acclaimed actress/producer, Kim Fields. "It is a fantastic honor to be here today," stated Fields. "I know what a special event this is, and what an important place this is."
The panel of representatives for the center included Executive Director - Lincoln Ellis, National President - Roxanne Spillett, East St. Louis Mayor - Debra Powell, President - Bob Kersee, East St. Louis High coach - Nino Fennoy, and Chairperson - Jackie Joyner-Kersee. A blessing was bestowed upon the Club by Rev. Norman Owens, Macedonia Baptist Church, before the ribbon cutting.
Lincoln Ellis, Director, was hand picked to bring up the direction of the Boy's and Girl's Club. "The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation seeks to provide quality services and programs to the youth of this community," commented Ellis. "We would like to thank everyone for making this day possible."
East St. Louis Mayor, Debra Powell, spoke proudly about the local area, the efforts that Jackie Joyner-Kersee has put forth and the impact it will have on East St. Louis. "Every town needs something or someone to be recognized world-wide and we have that in this facility. We believe tit's going to make a very significant difference in our redevelopment of our city," said Powell.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee had always been inspired to provide to the community from which she grew up. When younger, she attended the Mary Brown Center, a local community facility, where she participated in recreational sports and from where she was inspired with the idea to institute the Boy's and Girl's Club. "I remember going there when I was younger and playing sports, reading, doing arts and crafts and even dance. This gave me a chance to figure out what I was good at," said Kersee. "It provided a safe haven for all the neighborhood children, and the programs we were involved in allowed us to discover our full potential."
Jackie teamed up with her husband/coach Bob Kersee, President of the facility, to begin taking the necessary steps towards achieving the Boy's and Girl's Club. "This is about the dream that is reality," stated Bob Kersee. "Thanks to the donors for believing in Jackie, this building in East St. Louis is paid for, it is your building. We are going to have a safe place for East St. Louis youth to come to. Although the building is complete, our work is not complete."
Jackie received a very warm welcome and standing ovation when she stepped in front of the microphone to speak to the large crowd. "We believed in what we were trying to do. We continued to knock on doors, there have been so many donors and so many people who have made this possible."
The ceremony was graced by the presence of professional athletes such as Gail Devers, Zena Garrison- tennis star, and Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers. Now that Phase One of construction is complete Phase Two is going to be off and running. The second phase will involve a fund-raising campaign to construct a natatorium. This will consist of a 26,000 square-foot indoor Olympic size pool, locker rooms, and offices for the Club staff. Karl Grice of the St. Louis based Grice Group Architects designed the main facility building and has also been chosen to construct the elements of Phase Two.
Return to Southwest Illinois News
The Southwest Illinois News site is owned and maintained by the Moore Design Group for the sole purpose of disseminating news and information about the Southwestern Illinois area. Text or graphics may not be copied, rewritten or distributed in any manner whatsoever without written permission. For more information, contact email@example.com All rights reserved world wide © 1996 - 2008 Moore Design Group.