Friday, September 17, 2010

CYPN Article in Commercial Appeal

Heather Caron wrote a great article about the Light the Way race and the Parent's Network. There's even something about Neighborhood Church in there. Here's the article:

The cooler weather has begun to lure neighbors out of their homes and children back into the daylight. Runners and walkers alike are dotting neighborhoods in preparation of the upcoming Cooper-Young Festival 4 Miler race on Friday. In addition, many community members are preparing for the "Light the Way" parties to cheer on the runners as they blaze past the neighborhood homes and businesses in Midtown's Cooper-Young.

Longtime area residents know that those with the best parties win prizes and enjoy the accolades throughout the year. The 4 Miler "Light the Way" parties have not only been fun, but for some residents, they are the initial connection to lasting friendships, educational forums, seasonal parties, running groups and endless play dates.

One such group can credit many memberships to the Cooper-Young 4 Miler race and the infamous "Light the Way" parties. The Cooper-Young Parents Network, representing 80 adult members and 150 children, has given Midtown families a support group for their most important commodity -- their children. This forum has provided parents information on available educational and extracurricular options for their kids. It has given Cooper-Young families a safe and welcoming place to celebrate holidays and community events. It is a clearinghouse for gently used items that families no longer need and a resource for cooperative and reputable child care. You may just be able to find the right doctor or cleaning service, if you so desire.

Newly relocated family Joe and Susan Currier were walking home from a 2006 "Light the Way" party and bumped into another new Cooper-Young family, Jason and Barb Elder.

"As we talked, I discovered I knew Jason from years past," said Susan Currier. "Jason and I grew up in the same town, but I did not know he had moved to Memphis.

"As we strolled past the cleanup crews, the Elders told us about a church they were helping to plant in Cooper-Young, which eventually became Neighborhood Church. They invited us to visit the church when it started meeting in homes a few months later, and that's how we met future Parents Network founder and new Cooper-Young resident, Mandy Grisham. Barb and Mandy became some of my closest friends, as have our children," Currier said.

Susan has since introduced several other families to the network and has hosted a few LTW parties. "It's my family's favorite part of the festival weekend," Currier said.

"The CY 4 Miler's 'Light the Way' party is the network's birthday. We are celebrating our second birthday this year," said Grisham. "Our network's first kickoff party won one of the prizes from the race committee."

Grisham fashioned the Parents' Network after the Berkley Parent's network. "Memphis did not have anything like this. I wanted to create a local network for the parents in the CY community," Grisham said.

Members Josh and Ginger Spickler and Debbie Sowell have also contributed to the success of this group's membership, hosting parties and spreading the word to other community members.

Heather Caron is a volunteer for the Cooper-Young Friday 4 Miler.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Robert, I read the article in The Commercial-Appeal about your and Mandy's decision to send your children to the neighborhood public schools. Your story warmed our hearts here at Parents for Public Schools, and I wanted to contact you and get in touch if possible. There are many things I would like to talk with you about, so if you can contact me with an email address, perhaps we can be in touch. My email is:

Anne Foster