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JAMESTOWN – The legacy of a late Jamestown City Councilwoman continues with efforts to help kids in the community.
The daughter of former Ward III Councilwoman Vickye James, who passed away earlier this year, is now working to help connect underprivileged youth with post-high school education.
However, James needs the community’s help raising money to make the idea a reality.
“I want to take kids on college tours and also assist kids who want to further their education that are unable to,” explained Qiana James, daughter of the councilwoman. “Jamestown is a little town, we don’t know about the different opportunities that we have outside, we really don’t have anybody to guide us. I’m looking to be that bridge, to give these kids the opportunities so they can go out, experience something else, and then come back and do good for your community.”
Before her initiative can get underway, James is looking for financial support from those in the community. Next week she, along with several others, are hosting a benefit in honor of her mother.
“Jay Rivera, of Foodie Sweets and Eats, she actually reached out to me and wanted to do something for my mother because she always helped her out when she was starting out with the food truck… she just wanted to do something in honor of my mom, so she wanted to do a benefit with all the proceeds going to the memorial fund,” said Qiana James, daughter of the councilwoman.
The benefit will happen at Jackson-Taylor Park on July 31, which James noted was her mother’s birthday. She also expressed her desire to make it a yearly occurrence in the future.
“We are going to try to make it an annual event,” commented James. “There will be different activities there for the kids: we’ll have bouncy houses, face painting; activities for the adults: music, basketball, cornhole, auction, and especially great food.”
Starting at 2 p.m. and running until 9 p.m., the festivities will feature vendors around until 6 p.m. A movie in the park will start at 7 p.m.
Ultimately, James wants to create a foundation that furthers her mother’s legacy by helping local youth.
“My end result is to get a community center… so we can get our kids out the streets and just something that’s productive in their life, give them that support because they may not have it at home,” said James. “Jamestown has so much potential… I just want everybody to succeed and do good.”
Until then, James is focusing on the present, looking to generate local support for next weekend’s festivities.
“The community is the one that’s going to make the benefit successful… just to continue fighting for what [my mother] worked so hard for for 40-plus years,” said James. “I hope the community comes together, I hope they enjoy what we have put together.”
Since the councilwoman’s passing, there have been numerous events honoring the legacy of Councilwoman James, including a candlelit vigil and a Juneteenth festival that saw trees planted in her honor.
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