By Paul Rozycki
East Court’s College and Cultural Neighborhood may be 100 years old, but it was looking pretty spry on Saturday, Aug. 10, when more than 100 friends and neighbors gathered at the Regional Tech Center, (RTC) on the Mott Community College campus for its annual meet-up and get-together.
For someone who’s been around since September of 1919, the CCNA devoured a healthy share of pizza, salads and ice cream bars at the annual picnic as neighbors shared with old friends and met new ones.
A century of history
During the picnic, maps of the early layout of the neighborhood were made available and discussions took place over the possibility of creating a history of the century-old area of Flint.
What is now commonly called the East Court Area was created and marketed by the James A. Welch Company, as the Woodlawn Park district. It originally included 650 acres, that were over the years divided into the lots that make up the neighborhood today. Welch created the area for the “comfort, health and peace of family life” when he began marketing the property century ago.
Attending the event were many who have been active in the College and Cultural Neighborhood Association (CCNA) and the neighborhood, including President Mike Keeler, Vice President Sherry Hayden, as well as MCC President Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, former Mayor Dayne Walling, Seventh Ward councilperson Monica Galloway, MCC Board member Andy Everman, former manager of the Flint Farmer’s Market Dick Ramsdell, and former city councilman Matt Schlinker.
The event was hosted by Mott Community College’s office of Institutional Advancement and MCC’s communications specialist, Dawn Hibbard. With help from donations from State Senator Jim Ananich, Tom & Kathy Beaubien and Kirk Laue, the guests shared Luigi’s Pizza, salad and pop.
Mark Fisher and Amy Garza of Weichert Realtors provided free popsicles and ice cream.
The College and Cultural Neighborhood Association was organized in 1992 with the goal of promoting urban planning, and advancing social, environmental and political goals. According to its information, the neighborhood includes about 1,300 households, and includes the area between I-69 and Longway Boulevard, Crapo Street, and Dort Highway. Over the years the CCNA has expanded its reach, and now meets monthly, either with a general membership meeting, or a neighborhood watch meeting.
At the monthly meeting members report on current projects and problems, and local lawmakers often summarize important activity in City Hall or Lansing. At the neighborhood watch meetings, Chair Mike Herriman reviews any crime activity in the area and hears concerns. The meetings are typically held on the third Thursday of the month in the auditorium (Room 1005) of the Regional Tech Center (RTC) on the Mott campus. They meet from 7-9 p.m. and the meetings are all open to the public.
Other Saturday campus activities
As the CCNA met, Mott Community College hosted two other events on Saturday, A “Pack your Back” school supplies giveaway took place in the campus Event Center, and the college held an “Enrollment Saturday” at the same time. Between the three events, some estimated there may have been as many as 1000 people on the campus on Saturday.
EVM staff writer, political commentator and College Cultural Neighborhood resident Paul Rozycki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.