King Kennedy Back-to-School BBQ

Friday August 12th was not a typical work day. Bridge Board members and I hit the community for the annual King Kennedy Back-to-School BBQ. I attended this same event last year and although this year didn’t feature the bounce house, cotton candy machine, or icee maker, it had no shortage of community involvement.

Being a former Education Specialist with the Club, I saw many familiar faces from “Mama D” playing kick ball with the students to Richard (aka “Mr. Rich”) dancing and manning the grill in the 90+ degree heat (with about 90% humidity). I began to record Richard on snap chat when he smiled at my phone and said “Great Futures Start Here” and continued to flip the hamburgers and hot dogs.

Outside we had hamburgers and hotdogs; inside it looked like a professional basketball camp, many of the students were doing layup lines and ball passing drills while the DJ spun tracks.  I even saw a former student of mine from the Broadway Club, Mikayla Boykin, who assured me she still loved Kyrie Irving and was excelling at volleyball in high school.

Many parents and younger siblings came out to the Club to join in the festive atmosphere and grab some fare hot-off-the-grill. Before leaving, every student starting kindergarten and on up lined up and got to pick out a brand new back-pack full of supplies needed for the coming school year.  (The Bridge Board donated funds to purchase 100 back-to-school supply kits and donate them to students attending the Clubs.)  The smiles on the students’ faces, and pride with which they showed off their new gear, was unmatched.

Many community leaders attended the event including BGCC President Ron Snyder and Z 107.9 Incognito.  Aside from the heat, this was an awesome event. My biggest take away is how excited the students were to get their backpacks full of supplies.

Many thanks to Richard Starr, the King Kennedy Staff, the BGCC, and the many supporters of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland who made this event possible.


Shared by Michael J. Houser, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff for Cuyahoga County


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