Written by Paul Wolf
When you look better, you feel better. Or so the old adage goes.
It is one of the core missional goals for the LeFleur East Foundation, too: to create a community that shows neighborhood pride by taking care of itself.
“If you feel good in where you live, you will take care of your property,” said LeFleur East Foundation Executive Director Stacey Jordan.
From potholes to burned-out street lights, Jordan said residents in LeFleur East are learning how to care for themselves through the foundation’s empowerment.
“It’s not about, ‘Call Stacey and she can get it done,’” Jordan said. “It’s, ‘Let me show you if you have a light that’s out who to call and where to go.’ It makes them feel good. Teaching others… it spreads. It gives everyone a voice.”
Quality of life as a mission extends beyond landscaping projects or making a report to the city’s 3-1-1 system.
The foundation is working with the City of Jackson to provide volunteers for cleanup efforts at Parham Bridges Park following spring storms.
“I reached out to say, ‘We want to help,’ and they’re happy,” Jordan said. “It takes a load off.”
It is that same volunteer spirit that fuels the annual signature foundation fundraiser June 21, Flash Dash, moving to The District at Eastover for 2019.
“We can’t do this without our community of support,” Jordan said of the dozens of locals it takes to put on an event of this magnitude.
Of the move to The District, Jordan said Flash Dash needed a change.
“This also gives us a chance to say, ‘Hey, this is LeFleur East, too.’”
Began by LeFleur East board member John Noblin seven years ago, Flash Dash has grown to include food vendors, kids activities and live music, coming again this year from The Patrick Harkins Band.
Non-runners are encouraged to register, too, giving them access to the after-party and a drink ticket.
Proceeds from the event will be used in future LeFleur East improvements, from increased signage to more sidewalks and landscaping; the extension of the bike trail from Eastover Drive to Lakeland Drive; and, at Parham Bridges Park, assisting the city in fundraising for a new playground and splash pad, between the park and the Willie Morris Library.
The goals are ambitious but obtainable, Jordan believes, with support.
“We’re a positive voice. The more you support the foundation, the more you help provide the things that make this a fun place to live and work in.”