“Together We Rise” was the theme of the Far Rockaway Colts’ community event on Friday, August 21. In a day of fun, family, and bridging the gap between police and community members, the Far Rockaway Colts proved just that.
On Friday, the Far Rockaway Colts, an NYPD-led mentorship program, invited the community to the shopping center on Beach 86th Street for a day that included everything from rock climbing to basketball, boxing lessons, double dutch, resources, giveaways, dancing to DJ music, a barbecue, speeches by local elected officials and even a special NYPD helicopter flyby. Throughout the event, police officers interacted with everyone during each activity.
As Detective Patrick Blanc, head coach of the Far Rockaway Colts, put it, “The goal of today’s event is to bridge the gap. A lot of times, we do different stuff in the Rockaways, but it’s not done on this side of Rockaway. From walking around the Hammels community, we’ve heard complaints that nothing is done here. So we thought it would be a great idea to do something here because this is not usually provided for the Hammels,” he said. And the turnout proved it was worth it. “We had three families almost shed tears when they learned that someone is finally doing something here. We’re trying to change the narrative. We’re coming together collectively to try to make thing better for the community.”
Many of the boys from the Far Rockaway Colts program were there and spoke to the ways the program has helped better themselves. “This program is really fun, the teachers are really nice. My grades were ones and threes and when I started doing the program, my grades started going up to fours and now I’m getting hundreds,” a boy named Anthony said to applause. “Whenever I need help with something, I call them and they pick up. This program is very helpful. It helps you get better. It’s the best program for me.”
To learn more about the Far Rockaway Colts, follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Story and Photos
By Katie McFadden
BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS