Go West, young man

Go West, young man

Hardy Drive was blocked off on Saturday, August 2 for the 11th annual Westhaven Community Day. The daylong block party brought out young dancers and featured a visit from the bookmobile as well as an 18-wheeler turned into a gym, cotton candy stations and the infamous dunking booth. Turnout appeared to be higher this year.

Quintin Franklyn is the recent winner of “Best Documentary” in the national VIP Producers Awards 2007 Online Film Festival and from his neighbors he received, on Saturday, Westhaven’s “Resident of the Year” award. His film Sew What? was shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. He made it as part of Light House’s “Keep it Reel” project and he was mentored on the film by founding director Shannon Worrell, who joined him at the block party. “It’s a documentary about my life and my love for fashion,” says Franklyn. “I used my difficult past to help me reach my goal.”

Garrett A. Grant, president of the Buffalo Soldiers of Central Virginia Motorcycle Club, said, “We are here to show children that there is something beyond your neighborhood. We are here to change the thought process of all African-American children.”

MACAA’s Karen Shepard sits on the edge of the dunking platform as the ball closes in on the target. For a buck a toss, Westhaven party-goers had a chance to see city officials and support agency staff members get drenched. Dunking booth All-Star, City Councilor David Brown, decided to leave the fun to newcomers this year. “I volunteered in the booth for the past three or four years,” he said. “Today, I decided to throw the ball.”