Sarvis Park event celebrates community and helps residents build new relationships

FLINT, Michigan -- The Sarvis Park Neighborhood hosted their second annual Community Day for residents this month, in partnership with the Michigan State Police.

Lt. Jeff Short, assistant commander of the Michigan State Police Flint Post, came up with the idea for the event last year.

“Sarvis Park Community Day was created in 2020 as a collaborative effort between the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association and local law enforcement,” Short said. “It was created as a positive movement toward bringing local law enforcement and the community together. This event provides an environment where law enforcement and the community could come together in a relaxed setting and get to know one another on a personal level. My vision is to continue to spread love and compassion throughout all areas of the city.”

Several vendors, organizations, and businesses participated in the event, including Flint’s Master Illusionist, Quinton Robinson. Robinson wowed the crowd with magical card tricks and mind-bending tactics.

Shakinah Lee Wagner, CEO of "No Two Stripes Alike," showcased her slithering friends Amy the snake and Allie the alligator.

"It made me happy to see so many people who lived close by attend the event. It was one of the first events that (we) were really in the midst of where people lived,” Wagner said.

The event is also in line with the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association’s goal of revitalizing the area through resident engagement. Organizers have hosted several events, concerts, cleanups, and other activities over the last two years aimed at helping residents get to know each other and also learn about resources available to them in the community.

Autozone, Big John Steak & Onion, and the Michigan National Guard sponsored basketball challenges facilitated by Jermaine Turner, park adopter and president of Reviving Our Cities Communities.

“The youth at Sarvis Park compete against each other daily,” Turner said. “The basketball challenges gave them an audience.”

A human scavenger hunt was erected to increase patronage among the vendors. Participants had to listen to the information given by the vendors or sample their products to complete their board. Cash was the coveted prize for those that finished the hunt.

“I enjoyed the event,” said Brownell Blvd Coalition founder and Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association member Roy Fields. “Community love was in the air. It felt like the home of yesteryear. It felt great.”

Autozone's District Manager Anson Banister added, "It has been a blessing coming back home to the Flint Market. I will continue to support the community. In just a short time, we've had so many people thank Autozone for our support in the community. Seeing the smiles on the kid's faces is priceless. Events like this are bringing the community back together."
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