Citizens for a Better Community celebrates 19th family day

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Assembly Woman Monique Chandler Waterman pose alongside Yvette Barrow, Agnes Shirley Parris, Patricia Kilkenny, and Doreen Miller who were honored.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

The East Flatbush Citizens for a Better Community returned to Paerdegat Park Brooklyn on Aug. 12 to celebrate its 19th family day after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.

The pleasant sunny day attracted scores of families who were welcomed by Yvette Barrow founder and president of the non-profit, who served as emcee during a spirited day of activities that included the popular children’s talent competition of dance, poetry, and singing.

Highlighted by rides on the Black Cowboy Ponies, rock climbing, sporting events, “Suga Candy” Mas costume presentation, Afro Dance movement by Sesame Flyers, Hip-Hop celebration, Ding A Ling the Clown dance and singalong, and tower-high bouncy houses, the children had the most amazing time during the hours-long family event.

Thanks to the Mike Demas Steel Band “Hearts of Steel,” the Lester Hunt Brass Band and an Exercise routing, headed by Matthew Griffith and participants, adult attendees also had a blast in the park.

Prizes of gift cards and educational tools were handed out to the children who participated in the talent competition, and to winners of the 50/50 fundraising raffle.

The non-profit that partnered with Assembly MemberMonique Chandler Waterman, District 58th was praised by the politician for its commitment to service in the community.

Trinidad-born Yvette Barrow was honored with a Proclamation from Chandler Waterman for her fierce advocacy, her fight for neighborhood cleanup, scholarship awards, and her outstanding service to the community, among other accolades.

Agnes Shirley-Parris, Doreen Miller, Patricia Kilkenny, and Bernadette Hockey were acknowledged for their support and dedication to the family day, and the community.

The politician also thanked her staff Chinua Duke, and others, as well as Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and Council MemberMercedes Narcisse, who awarded Citations to the resident volunteers, thanking them for their service.

Kiddies from the Suga Candy Mas display their carnival costumes during the 19th Citizens for a Better Community family day at Paerdegat Park Brooklyn on Aug. 12.Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Williams, a former city council member asked the celebrants if they were enjoying Assembly Member Waterman and her leadership and receive a loud applause from the crowd. He then lauded event planner Yvette Barrow for the nineteen years, “she had made sure we are here,” and praised the group for its camaraderie, and commitment to the family day. 

Williams, a vociferous legislator, called on the crowd to hold elected officials accountable.

“I just want you to make sure that we do the job that we say we’re going to do on behalf of the people who need it the most,” said the politician.

Other partners included Vanderveer Park Glenwood District 20-K1 Lions Club, East Flatbush Community Partnership, East Flatbush Village, Inc. Ira Lucas CareMax, Primerica, Desiree LeGrand Independent Consultant Everything is $5, the NYPD, and others.

Citizens For a Better Community founded by Yvette Barrow in 1999 with the help of other homeowners in 1998, includes over 247 homeowners in the community as registered members.

Barrow said her activism began when “I stood up and took steps to improve the quality of life in my neighborhood. I have continued to be the spokesperson for the residents reaching out to the appropriate governmental agencies and local bodies to obtain help in improving the roadways and general surroundings.”

“To implement certain goals, I had to step on toes and bruise large egos. However, as a strong believer in a higher power I had faith that I would succeed in all the goals set before me,” said Barrow.