Tallahassee, Florida - May 22, 2012 -
Local teens looking for fun on hot summer nights can plan on some jammin' good times as the City of Tallahassee today announced the return of the Splash & Jam program. The program was started last year as a way to offer area youth safe alternatives for late night summer fun. In 2011, more than 1,500 people participated in the events.
The 2012 program was announced this morning at the City's Jack L. McLean Jr. Aquatics Center and Community Center. Taking part in a ceremonial "first splash" with area teens were Mayor Pro Tempore Andrew Gillum; Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) Chief Dennis Jones; Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs (PRNA) Director Dee Crumpler; City officials; and members of the local news media. Mayor John Marks led the countdown to splashdown. Area pastors and local community officials also attended the event.
"I'm proud that the City, with the help of the community, is able to offer this unique program for our young people again this summer," Gillum said. "Having participated in last year's Splash & Jam events, I can attest to their success and importance. Young people thrive when they have constructive, safe opportunities to socialize in a wholesome environment. As a community, we should be proud that we can provide them those opportunities, especially during the summer when they have more leisure time."
Hosted by PRNA and TPD, the Splash & Jam programs will be held every Friday this summer (except July 6), beginning next week on June 1, and ending on August 10. Splash & Jam events are free and open to youth of all ages. They feature a variety of supervised, safe and fun activities taking place at four PRNA facilities known for being actively involved in their respective communities: the Jack L. McLean Aquatics Center and Community Center, the Walker Ford Community Center, the Palmer Munroe Teen Center and the Lawrence-Gregory Community Center at Dade Street, including the Robinson Trueblood Pool.
The events will feature pool parties at the aquatics facilities, with a deejay, food and other fun activities in the adjacent community centers, including music, late-night basketball, movies, games and more. This year's events are proudly sponsored by a variety of local businesses and organizations. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Below is a full schedule of the 2012 Splash & Jam events.
June 1 at Walker Ford Community Center, 2301 Pasco Street, sponsored by the Tallahassee Police Athletic League and Sunshine Savings Bank
June 8 at Palmer Munroe Teen Center, 1900 Jackson Bluff Road, sponsored by Whataburger
June 15 at Lawrence Gregory Community Center, 1115 Dade Street, sponsored by Gail Bookkeeping
June 22 at Walker Ford, sponsored by the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
June 29 at Jack McLean Community Center, 700 Paul Russell Road, sponsored by Piggy's BBQ
July 13 at Lawrence Gregory, sponsored by Whataburger
July 20 at Jack McLean, sponsored by Piggy's BBQ
July 27 at Walker Ford, sponsored by Piggy's BBQ and Sunshine Savings Bank
August 3 at Lawrence Gregory, sponsored by Piggy's BBQ
August 10 at Jack McLean, sponsored by Whataburger
Each event will be monitored by adult chaperones, City staff and police officers, with a focus on a safe, fun environment.
"We started Splash & Jam to help address the increase in youth and young adult crime in early 2011," said Tallahassee Police Chief Dennis Jones. "Thanks to the support of the City Commission, we were able to give our youth a positive, fun option. Additionally, we are thankful for our sponsors, without whom we wouldn't be able to continue the program this year. Community involvement with our youth is paramount in building up the next generation."
Last year, 14 separate Splash & Jam events were held at three community centers (Lawrence Gregory, Walker Ford and Jack McLean). Attendance at each event averaged between 100-150 youth and family members.
Splash & Jam is a collaborative effort between Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Affairs and the Tallahassee Police Department. For more information, please contact PRNA at 891-3866 or visit online at Talgov.com/parks.