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Summer Excitement on Dorr Street!

Sojourner’s Truth Staff

So very much to do on Dorr Street on Saturday, June 22 – a wealth of activities and opportunities to play, eat, shop and celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding Toledoans. And on one of those rare, perfect weather summer days we’ve been yearning for.


Smithfest, centered in Smith Park and spilling over into the Toledo Public Library Mott Branch and MLK Academy for Boys, opened the day’s events at 9 a.m. Originally scheduled for the previous week but postponed because of rain, hundreds of children and their families were treated to food, basketball, soccer, tennis, horseback riding, music, free books and t-shirts and, as usual, the highlight- the raffle of over 100 bicycles.

Sponsors such as Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Stop and Go, ProMedica, Columbia Gas, TARTA, UAW Local 5242, Buehrer Group supplied gifts and food.

An army of volunteers kept the party moving along and a core group worked with Toledo City Councilman Tyrone Riley in planning the massive event – his seventh annual such event.

BLM Juneteenth

Just a few blocks away, literally within walking distance and due south towards Indiana Avenue, the Community Solidarity Response Network of Toledo, along with the Frederick Douglass Community Association, celebrated Juneteenth, a Black Lives Matter Day, at the FDCA. Dozens of vendors set up booths inside and outside of the FDCA presenting an array of goods from black-owned businesses. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., visitors had the opportunity to purchase items such as pillows, jewelry, fragrances, candles, books.

The purpose of the event, said organizer Washington Muhammad, was to feature the work of black entrepreneurs and connect them with an audience. Other organizers were Julian Mack and Jodie Summers.

African American Sports Legends Hall of Fame

At the east end of Dorr Street, in the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Willie Perryman hosted his neighbor (African American Legacy Project’s Executive Director Robert Smith) for the annual induction of some of Toledo’s sports legends into the AALP’s Hall of Fame. Eleven athletes were inducted this year in a ceremony directed by master of ceremonies Tom Cole of BCSN and the Taylor Automotive Family. Each athlete was presented by a HOF committee member and was given a kente cloth and a plaque as his or her achievements were related to the audience.

This year’s inductees included:

·         Ron “Butch” Allen is the only Toledo athlete to receive All-City honors in baseball, football, basketball and track and field and a former member of the Cleveland Indians organization;

·         Crystal Ellis was the first African American to play on the Bowling Green State University basketball team (All Mid-American Conference Team in 1956) and a former principal and superintendent with Toledo Public Schools;

·         Kamesha Hairston, a First Team All-City Basketball athlete for three years, All-American at Temple University, named A-10 Player of the Year, first team all A-10 twice, all defensive team three times and was the nation’s fourth leading scorer and part of three A-10 championship teams. She became a WNBA player and later played overseas in Italy and Spain;

·         David Jones, football and track and field athlete at Scott who set a high school triple jump record in 1977 that still stands today. Jones was the first African-American athlete enshrined in the John Carroll University Hall of Fame for his football and track exploits;

·         Dickie Jones played football and track at Scott also and was selected to the 1962 All-City Track Team. He attended Central State and started coaching football in 1966, one of the founders of the Mid-City Football League;

·         Jeremy Lincoln is a retired NFL player. A graduate of DeVilbiss, Lincoln earned a scholarship to the University of Tennessee in football and ran on two national championship track teams. Drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1992, he played nine years in the NFL and then created the Jeremy Lincoln Foundation. Unable to attend Saturday’s ceremonies, he was represented by his mother Deborah Roberts;

·         Mel Long graduated from Macomber and then joined the Marine Corp serving in Vietnam in 1966-67, earning the Bronze Star and Navy Cross – the most highly decorated veteran to play professional football. He played on the standout UT teams that won 35 straight games, then played in the NFL for three seasons with the Cleveland Browns;

·         Lawrence Moreland is the “father of modern boxing” in Toledo. He started the Brand Whitlock Area Gym, along with Al Perales, that brought in boxers from all over the city. Moreland died in 2004 and he was represented by his son, Larry Moreland;

·         Kelvin Ransey attended the Ohio State University and is still the second leading scorer of all time. He was selected fourth overall in the 1980 NBA draft and played six years, leaving at age 27 to start his own full-time ministry.

·         Ann Strong Jaynes is a Libbey graduate who earned All City honors in basketball, volleyball and track as a high jumper. She attended Cheyney State and was part of the school’s 1983 Final Four team. She played professionally in Spain.

·         Chester Trail also graduated from Libbey and earned All State honors in basketball and baseball. He attended BGSU in order to play both sports and joined the New York Yankees organization in 1964, playing five years with the Yankees and two with the Baltimore Orioles organization. He began in the ministry in 1976 ad has been the pastor of Grace Temple Church COGIC since 2001.

The Sports Legends Committee is comprised of a host of sports legends, among others, including: Brandynn Adams, Douglas Allen, Leroy Bates, Robert Bates, Land Battles, James Coogler, Terry Crosby, Robert Goree, Wes Harper, William Hayes, Jackie Jackson, Edward Jones, Willie Loper, Marcus Newbern, Eddie Norris, Robert Shorter, Keith Mathis Smith and George Snelling


Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/26/19 22:05:01 -0400.



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