3rd annual South Memphis Toy Extravaganza with J.B. Smiley Jr.,Esq Story and Pictures By Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, CNC The South Memphis Toy Extravaganza, a concept birthed by recently elected District 8.1 City of Memphis Councilman J.B. Smiley Jr., hosted his third annual Christmas gift giveaway on Saturday, December 21, 2019. The event, designed to make sure every child in South Memphis had a gift for Christmas, had children and their parents lined up outside the Gaston Community Center, 1048 Walker Avenue, Memphis, TN 38106, in anticipation of taking a picture with Santa and receiving a gift from Attorney Smiley. “We will provide entertainment, food, and gifts to at least 250 kids,” said Smiley, who was hoping for a good turnout. “This event is all about the community and the kids that live in it. If you know of a family with young children who could potentially go without this Christmas season, please tell them about this event.” Memphis Police Department Officer J. Bitz helped control the crowd at the front door as South Memphis Toy 14 15 Extravaganza volunteer Lynn Williams counted the children who came to see Santa and to receive a gift. Over 300 children showed up and no one went home without something. “For the third year in a row the South Memphis Toy Extravaganza brought joy, happiness, and entertainment to the children of a place I am privileged to call home, Memphis, TN,” said Smiley who actually had items left over to give away after everyone had been served. “We have two wireless tower speakers, one stage speaker, and two wireless cellphone chargers all with Bluetooth capacity; one Huffy three-wheel Green Machine, and one 35” x 25” x 6” Air Hockey table remaining.” These items were available through Smiley’s personal Facebook page. Eligibility required participants to “Like” his page, share the status of the giveaways, pick a number from one to 500, and post the number chosen under the posting. The winner was decided by a random drawing at 6 PM CST that evening. Ties would be determined by the time the submission was received and the event was only open to individuals residing in Memphis and/or Shelby County, Tennessee. At last report, Attorney Smiley was in the process of scheduling drop off times for Facebook friends and gift winners, Certified Tasheka Reed, Tananaree Conklin, Kamillia Sargent, Tiesha Smith, Yvonne Brown, Natty Trey, and Tanya Sims. Congratulations are in order for everyone involved. To the family, Ms. Jackie and JB Sr., mentor Carl Johnson and all the friends and supporters of Attorney JB Smiley Jr., and to the volunteers and donors who helped make year three a huge success including—Lacretia Carroll, Felecia Hyman, Destini Booker, Aisha Butler, Tyranese Dandridge, Sequoia Finney, Zena Jordan, Tyrhonda Hyman and daughter Madison Hyman, Amber Sherman, John Knight for representing Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWTCC), Assistant Gaston Community Center Directors Shawn Boyd and Awendell Gordon, DJ IB John Doe, Jay Shipp and Jeremy Grier, Owner of ibounce Rentals. 24

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