June 22, 2022 | Articles News Philanthropy
Tom Gores’ FlintNOW Foundation Joins Forces With Flint Artist, Local Advocates And Parks Officials To Renovate Basketball Courts In Genesee County
First of three newly refurbished courts unveiled during Juneteenth celebration in Windiate Park
Court designed by Flint native Jamiersen Green celebrates the power of collaboration, transformation, and unity
FLINT, Mich. – June 19, 2022 – The FlintNOW Foundation, created by Detroit Pistons owner and Flint native Tom Gores, is partnering with Genesee County Parks Commission and Flint native Jamiersen Green to renovate basketball courts in three parks throughout the county.
The first location, Windiate Park, was completed over the weekend, and the freshly painted court was unveiled during a Juneteenth celebration on Sunday. The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by representatives from all the organizations that worked together to complete the Windiate Park project, including: FlintNOW and the Detroit Pistons, Genesee County Parks Commission (GCPRC), Leader Quality, and Howard’s Helping Hands.
“I’ve always believed the most impactful solutions come from people on the ground, in the community working together to make a difference,” said Gores. “The tireless efforts of local residents to provide safe spaces for kids are truly admirable. I’m proud we could bring everyone together and leverage their vision and creativity to make Windiate Park a vibrant place for children to play.”
Funding for the three park projects is provided in part by a $100,000 grant from the FlintNOW Foundation. In addition to the mural at Windiate Park, courts at William Durant Park and Riverside West Park will be resurfaced and rehabilitated over the next 18 months.
“Community voice and equity are the driving forces in the work that we do, and this collaboration put those factors front center,” said Nancy Edwards, Recreation Programs and Grants Officer for Genesee County Parks. “Windiate Park represents so many things, but unity, transformation and hope are the main ingredients, and the new court design brings those elements to life. We are grateful to Tom Gores, FlintNOW, Jamiersen Green, and Shareka and the Howard family for their continued support of our parks and our community.”
The idea for the parks program originated with Green, an artist and Flint native who founded Leader Quality, a multidimensional creative agency. Green has previously worked with the Pistons organization and approached the FlintNOW Foundation about working together.
The court mural unveiled Sunday in Windiate Park was designed by Green with input from community stakeholders, including Shareka Howard of Howard’s Helping Hands.
“The hands on the court represent people from all cultures and genders, reaching together in common cause, which is to inspire and lift up the people of Flint,” said Green. “Community and equality are the inspiration for this design, as well as the shared goal of ensuring all voices are heard across our city. I’m grateful for the collective efforts of FlintNOW, the Detroit Pistons, Genesee County, and Shareka Howard throughout this project.”
In 2014, Howard and her organization, Howard’s Helping Hands, adopted Windiate Park, with the goal of making the once vibrant park a safe place for children to play in again after years of downturn. Since then, Howard’s Helping Hands has provided free activities at Windiate Park for adults and children of Genesee County, including sports training camps, co-ed flag football, fitness in the park, and a Winter Wonderland.
Throughout this project, Howard and her knowledge of this park and community has been instrumental in the execution of this renovation.
“This collaboration and the spirit of giving is what our community around the park represents, through all we have been through and continue to go through in the City of Flint,” said Howard. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work together to create something positive. We know that as long as we stand together and work together, we will succeed and make life better for our children.”
About FlintNOW Foundation
The FlintNOW Foundation (www.FlintNOW.org) was created by Tom Gores to provide private sector support for immediate relief efforts during the water crisis in Flint, Mich., and for long-term programs focused on economic development, nutrition and health care for residents of the city. FlintNOW partnerships include a $2 million pledge from Tom Gores and Consumers Energy to start the Flint Promise scholarship program, a $25 million economic development program launched with Huntington Bank, a healthy foods initiative created with the National Basketball Players Association and Michigan State University-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, and numerous campaigns that have provided millions of dollars in support to local Flint charitable organizations.
About Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission
The Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission (GCPRC) owns and operates more than 11,000 acres of parkland, making it the largest county park system in the state of Michigan. Genesee County Parks is dedicated to quality recreational opportunities for everyone and preservation of natural resources. Our vision is that Parks Bring People Together and we accomplish that through Vision, Consistency, Customer Services, Integrity, Stewardship, and Teamwork. We serve all residents of Genesee County and visitors to our area. Keep Genesee County Beautiful (KGCB) became a program of the Genesee County Parks in 2016. KGCB was created in 2004 with the mission to encourage, educate, and engage the community in ongoing cleanup and beautification of Genesee County. KGCB’s vision is beautiful, clean, and sustainable neighborhoods, parks and open spaces in Flint and Genesee County achieved through Individual Responsibility, Volunteer Action, and Partnerships. More information is available here https://geneseecountyparks.org/ and here https://geneseecountyparks.org/kgcb/.
About Jamiersen Green
With over 10+ years in the Culture & Creative industry Jamiersen has ideated, designed, directed, managed and executed major events & plans for mainstay brands and companies throughout the street culture industry. Through his experience he has obtained insight into the direction of culture, connections to various influencers and brands. Coupled with the knowledge on how to navigate and build sustainability, growth, and excitement through authentic marketing and experiences. Jamiersen’s mission is to bring a new age of marketing and influence to the industry through serving brands and building generational influence. He commands excellence out of himself, and lives by the code “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.”
About Howard’s Helping Hands
In 2014, Shareka Howard and her family adopted Windiate Park, with inspiration to make the once vibrant park a safe place for children to play in after years of downturn within the park. Howard’s Helping Hands has been leading the way providing activities for free to children and adults within the community, including sports training camps, co-ed flag football, fitness in the park, and a Winter Wonderland. The organization also lends itself to assisting many organizations in Genesee County with sports development and mentorship programs. In looking for something to encourage community unity, family togetherness, and to uplift fathers in the area, Shareka and her family run an annual basketball tournament on Father’s Day in honor of their pastor and mentor George Stevens of City Ministries. Windiate Park and the community around are all family and the heart and soul of Flint, Windiate Park is now one of the safest and most used parks in the City of Flint.
Keep Genesee County Beautiful
Genesee County Parks & Recreation Commission
Howard’s Helping Hands