Rock the Block 4 Makes a Splash

 Rock the Block 4 Makes a Splash

By Katie McFadden

It’s always good when those who rise up don’t forget where they came from. Foley Fatukasi, a defensive tackle for the NFL’s Houston Texans hasn’t forgotten. Fatukasi returned to Far Rockaway on Saturday, June 29 for Rock the Block Fun Day 4. With this year’s theme being Ride the Wave, it was a day of water-filled fun for the community.

Fatukasi is one piece of the puzzle behind the Rock the Block Foundation. It was the brainchild of five Far Rockaway natives including, Curtis Turney-Rentas, founder and president of the Far Rock Greek Council; Tierra Holmes, creator of the Rok Nation Dance Team; Henry Adegunle, assistant coach for the Rockaway Ravens Football Team; Calvin Stanley, an author and co-CEO of the CW Junk & Moving Company; and Fatukasi. These young adults came together to organize community events with the goal of fundraising, collecting donations, and receiving grants to help the next generation of youth with scholarships in fields such as dance, sports, music, design, writing, and more. They are getting closer to that goal as they approach official 501c3 status. However, their major event since its inception is Rock the Block. Each year, this team comes together to create unity in the community with this fun event for all. This year’s Rock the Block Fun Day was another big success.

Held at the Rockaway Ravens football field on Beach 32nd Street, roughly 800 people came out to enjoy the festivities. With the Ride the Wave theme came plenty of water-filled experiences including water slides, slip ‘n’ slides, water balloon fights and more. The day also included fabulous dance performances by Rockaway’s own Rok Nation Dance Team, the Can’t Be Tamed Dance Team and Pepper Steppers step team, plus music by DJ Peter Vibe.

Everyone enjoyed giveaways, resources and goodies at tables from community-based organizations like Queens Defenders, Health First, Humanities IV, Ocean Bay CDC, Episcopal Health Services, Love & Worship Center, NYC Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers, Make My Mother Proud, Black Chef Movement, and vendors like K&D Custom Jewelry, Sugar Boss Creations, Adelita’s Pan Del Cielo, Ray Empanadas, Far Rockaway Brunch Truck and Cal’s Kitchen. Several local businesses donated food and raffle prizes such as Batesy’s, Claudette’s, Kimo’s, Tap That and more. Foley himself also gave away a grand raffle prize of two tickets to a Houston Texans game, along with a two-night hotel stay and an autographed football.

“Overall, it’s always good to have likeminded individuals come together to build something like this and for community members to see someone like Foley Fatukasi, who made it to the NFL to come back and pour back into this community alongside other people with boots on the ground, doing the work here. It’s a great thing to see,” Turney-Rentas said.

It’s something they’ve seen since the start, as they’ve continued to watch the event grow year after year. “This year was transformative and impactful. Seeing where we were from year one to year four, we’ve only grown and gained more traction and we have people coming out from all over NYC to this event to participate or to volunteer,” Turney-Rentas said.

Fatukasi was proud to return to help his Far Rock team make it all happen. “Rock The Block Fun Day is an event that energizes us! Our team works extremely hard to put this event together with the idea of bringing our community out as one. We believe this event gives our community both young and older a chance to come together and enjoy other,” Fatukasi said. “It means a lot to me because of the hard work we put in and seeing all of the smiles, laughter and joy on this day. “

And it will only continue to grow. The Rock the Block Foundation is gearing up to host more evens, including their Back to School event in August and they have big plans for year five of Rock the Block Fun Day. “We’re looking to do bigger and better in the years to come,” Turney-Rentas said. “We definitely have surprises for folks next year.”

For updates, make sure to follow @rocktheblockfoundation on Instagram. If interested in getting involved, send them a message or email

Photos by iravisuals.

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