The B.R.I.D.G.E. Hosts a Homecoming

 The B.R.I.D.G.E. Hosts a Homecoming

Story and Photos

By Theresa M Racine

The B.R.I.D.G.E. Homecoming event did not disappoint. Despite the lousy weather, 200 community members showed up to make this homecoming a special day.

New Family Enrichment Center (FEC), the B.R.I.D.G.E., is “Where we Build Relationships, Inspire Development, Growth and Excellence.” Located on Beach 92nd Street, the center is located in a 5,000-square-foot space at 217 Beach 92nd Street (formerly CROM) and open to all families residing on the peninsula and Broad Channel.

As Ebony Beaty, director of the Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation explains, in 2021 she applied for an AFP Grant provided by Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Ocean Bay was one of nine city-wide awardees selected to run FEC expansion sites. They began the hiring process in 2022. She selected Curtis Turney-Rentas to be the director of the program. Turney-Rentas is co-founder of the Far Rock Greek Council Inc. and had worked with FRANC. Beaty felt his top-tier networking and event coordinator skills would make Turney-Rentas the best fit for the job. Beaty explains it took six to eight months to find the perfect location at Beach 92nd Street. “The spot chosen was strategically placed there to bring all communities together from the east and the west of the Rockaways,” Beaty said. The B.R.I.D.G.E. has been operating for a few months, but Saturday’s homecoming was the official kickoff where the community got to see what they offer.

Curtis Turney-Rentas was excited to open the doors to the B.R.I.D.G.E. and show Rockaway what the FEC is all about at its homecoming event. The event began with a ribbon cutting and an ice breaker game with beads and pom poms for everyone to get to know one another. Guests were entertained with the dance talents of the Dream Dance Team from the Beach Channel Educational Campus and Rok Nation, a community-based dance team.

Among some of the attendees were Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson, representatives from Senator James Sanders and Councilwoman Selvena Bro­oks-Powers’ office, members of ACS, FRANC, Chis Romulo of CROM, St. John’s ICARE Foundation, Friends of Beach 59th Street Playground, and many more.

Many businesses helped make the event a success with food donated by Super Burrito, Kimos, Batesy’s, the Black Chef Movement, Miracles with Love and more. Rooms were full of resources, game stations, art stations, t-shirts, a boutique space, and even an exercise room where Seph Figueroa led an intenSati workout.

Overall, the day was a success. Turney-Rentas was pleased with the turnout. “The fact that people came out in spite of the extreme weather shows the community members want to create change,” he said. He’s looking forward to what’s next for the B.R.I.D.G.E. For updates and more, make sure to follow fecthebridge on Instagram.

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