Sailing on the ferry PT Barnum
On Saturday morning August 28, the Port Jefferson ferry named after
PT Barnum carried 200 kids and parents from the PT Barnum housing
complex on a ride to Port Jefferson and back. The trip was a celebration
for a very successful summer basketball league at the PT Barnum
re-established a summer basketball league in the housing complex with
the help of Tyrone Kelly, Steven Blaine, Eddie Ezekiel, Jerome Turner, Jack Black and Tony Williams.
The excursion on the ferry PT Barnum was co-sponsored by numerous organizations such as Christian Calvary Church, ABCD, WICC Holiday Children Fund, Patricia Newton-Foster and Lou Renolli of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company.
Dozens of hamburger and sodas from McDonalds were waiting for the kids when the ferry arrived at Port Jefferson. It was feast fit for a kid. The ferry ride won’t be forgotten by the children for quite a while.
Trophies were presented to every child that played on a team. And of course, there were special trophies for the MVP and also a very special trophy for the most important player on the team. Lyle Hassan was pleasantly surprised when he was presented with a beautiful statue of a basketball player by Patricia Newton-Foster.
It was too bad the joyous occasion had to end so soon. It was a very unique ending to the summer for 200 parents and kids from the PT Barnum Housing Complex.
Many of us including myself often talk extensively about the problems in our old neighborhood as well as what needs to be done for young Black children. We even come up with ideas on what should be done, yet very few of us have gotten past our solution filled discussions.
Lyle has over the years gone past just talking about what needs to be done. Lyle is in PT every evening in the summer working with the basketball league. It is because of this close contact with the children that Lyle envisioned taking the kids on a trip that they would never forget. Despite how close the ferry is most children had never been on it.
I wish that all of you could’ve been with us. I was filled with joy to see the excitement on the faces of the children. It too was something that I’ll never forget. Let’s keep Lyle on our minds and in our prayers as he continues his work with inner-city children (Our Babies).