Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Athletic Association Anniversary Bash a Hit on Southside

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Athletic Association Anniversary Bash a Hit on Southside

Article excerpt

Byline: KANDACE LANKFORD

Families, food and fun ruled the day at the recent golden anniversary party of the Southside Youth Athletic Association.

The celebration, which commemorated 50 years of youth baseball, was held at the association's newly revitalized home base, Glynlea Park on the Southside. Along with exhibition games, arts and crafts, children's activities and food and drinks, the crowd enjoyed appearances by special guests Jaxson de Ville, mascot of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Southpaw, mascot of the Jacksonville Suns.

Ron Lynch, president of the association, said the event was a big hit.

"We had a great turnout," he said. "We sold almost all of the food, and the kids were ecstatic about Jaxson de Ville and Southpaw being there and participating in the games."

While kids with snow cone mustaches swarmed the playground, jumped in bouncy houses or had their faces painted by clowns who made balloon animals, parents visited tables set up by local businesses and arts and crafts vendors who came to pitch their wares. Hot coffee, cool smoothies and ice cream were offered by the neighborhood's newest coffee shop, and goods on display included handmade dolls, homemade soaps and jewelry.

Mary Ann Smith, whose husband, Bill Smith, designs and creates jewelry, bookmarks, ornaments, wreaths and other decorative items, handed out business cards to customers who stopped at their table.

"Events like this are what generate interest in our crafts," she said. "We sold quite a few items."

The owner of Grove Park Coffee, Wendy Pessolano, served a steady stream of customers throughout the day and noticed an increase in business in the days following the event.

"We had people coming in who had either seen us in the park or heard about us from someone who did," Pessolano said. "We loved meeting all the new people and would love to have them come visit us again at the shop. …

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