Miami-Dade County

Friends and Neighbors: ‘Six PAC’ neighborhood reunion planned

Years before I-95 and urban renewal disrupted Overtown’s neighborhoods, it seemed that everybody was connected in some way. I am reminded of the neighborhoods of Northwest Six Place, Six Avenue, and Six Court (Six PAC), which on Oct. 17-19, will celebrate its 25th reunion as an organized body.

The Six PAC neighborhood was located near the iconic Booker T. Washington Junior/Senior High School, where its many activities seemed to draw Overtown’s neighborhoods together.

For example: There was always something good going on at the school such as the annual “Seniors in the Spotlight” variety show; the plays (I especially remember The Great Big Doorstep); the band and chorus concerts; the pep rallies when BTW played in the old Dorsey Park in a game known as “The Dust Bowl,” and of course, the parades before every home game.

Those are just a few of the fond memories the former residents of the neighborhood hold dear. For the past 25 years, they have tried to keep the memories alive by having Six PAC reunions.

Joan Puyol Ballard and her twin Jean, were born in the Six PAC at 1447 NW Sixth Ct. on March 11, 1944.

“I don’t know how long our family lived there before we were born, but in 1952, when we were 8, our family moved to Bunche Park, near Opa-locka,” said Ballard, who came from a family of eight children.

She said the idea of organizing former residents was the brainchild of Elry Taylor Sands, 89, and who served as the organization’s first president.

“Meeting at funerals was seemingly the only time we got to see each other,” said Ballard, the group’s new president. “That did not give us sufficient time to reflect and regain the close fellowship we cherished before the interruption of our neighborhood.”

According to Marian Dean a former resident who wrote the historical sketch of the neighborhood, it was Sands who suggested a reunion of all the former residents. Gwendolyn Ferguson Clark and Albert Ferguson shared the same idea and contacted other former residents. The Six PAC group had its first reunion in 1989.

“Over 150 former residents came to the first reunion,” Ballard said.

But sadly, Ballard said, the numbers have dwindled so much so, that she is hoping for at least 50 to show up for this year’s reunion.

She said, “Our numbers have dwindled because of death and the fact that our children don’t know the rich history of the neighborhood. For example, I can’t take my children to see the house I was born in because I-95 stretches across the area now. It is sad that our children don’t know our history. We have told them but they can’t see what we tell them because the neighborhood is gone... nothing is left.”

If you are a former resident of the Six PAC neighborhood, the former activities have been planned for your enjoyment:

▪ A “Meet and Greet” from 3 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the home of Juanita Ford Madison, 930 NW 199th Terr. in Pembroke Pines. Please reserve by Oct. 15 by calling Madison at 954-443-2993.

▪ A worship service at 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 19 at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church at 698 NW 47th Terr. in Liberty City.

▪ A brunch at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Jackson’s Soul Food Restaurant, 310 NW 10th St. in Overtown. Each person attending the brunch must pay for their own meal.

An assessment of $25 is requested from each Six PAC member. Make checks or money orders payable to Frank Hall and Mail to Ballard at 12600 SW Fifth Court. #304, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027.

For more information on the reunion call Madison at the above number or Ballard at 954-391-8382.

Community Health Fair

The Miami Gardens Commission for Women will have a Community Health and Wellness Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m Saturday at the Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, 3000 NW 199th St. The theme of the event is “Promoting Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Awareness.” The event will feature free health screenings on blood pressure; cholesterol; glucose; HIV; vision; memory; depression. and hearing.

The event will also feature seminars on breast cancer from 11 a.m. to noon, and on prostate cancer from 12:10 to 1:10 p.m. Free health services such as skin care techniques; how to do breast exams, health care counseling and more, will also be offered. Refreshments will be served.

Scholarships for grad students studying business

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2014-2015 Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship (JTMGBS).

They are: from Barry University. Nyree Michelle Washington; from Florida International University, Blaise Francklin, Amy A. Daley, Rahmesha L. Johnson, Eddy Oscar, and Quinella Amentra Richards; and Nova Southeastern University, Camika Nicole Carey, Nyckie Carroll, Sandy Isaac, and Sachiel Fernand Simon.

Since 1997 the JTMGBS Fund has awarded $442,000 to 399 graduate students pursuing master’s and doctoral business degrees. The scholarship is named for the late Jacki Tuckfield, the only child of Dr. Gloria and the late Dr. Jack Tuckfield.

The fund will offer $22,000 in $1,100 tuition scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year. The last day to apply is May 25, 2015. The application form may be downloaded at www.miamifoundation.org or at www.jackituckfield.org. You may also call Joy Lampkin at The Miami Foundation, 305-371-2711, 305-357-2088, or send an email to: jlampkin@miamifoundation.org.

Lunch and fashion show for charity

The Coco Plum Woman’s Club at 1375 Sunset Dr. in Coral Gables invites you to a luncheon/fashion show to begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 15.

The event, “Mademoiselle Couture” will feature the designs of Maritza Guevara Sanchez.

The social hour will begin at 11 a.m., followed at noon with lunch and the fashion show.

Admission is $30 per person. Sorry, no credit cards. Proceeds will benefit Safespace, a domestic violence shelter.

To make your reservations, call Ann Robson at 305-662-9453 by Friday.

Classical concert

The Alhambra Orchestra with guest conductor Timothy Shade, will present a “Discovering America” concert at 7:30 p.m. today at Ransom-Everglades School, 3575 Main Highway in Coconut Grove.

Shade, director of instrumental music at Bethel College is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He will lead the orchestra in performing the all-American program featuring Aaron Copland’s Outdoor Overture, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide Overture, and a medley from West Side Story, and the Romantic Symphony by Howard Hanson, as well as music by Samuel Barber and Charles Griffes.

It’s free.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email bea.hines@gmail.com. Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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