‘Black Panther’ flair // This trio appears to be straight out of the film “Black Panther” as they take part in VA Comicon last Saturday at the Old Dominion Building at Richmond Raceway. Frank Lester, center, is outfitted as the movie’s super villain Erik Killmonger. Mia Jones, left, and 12-year-old Cameron Hilliard are dressed as Wakanda warriors, also known as Dora Milaje, the team of female special forces protecting the film’s fictional African nation of Wakanda. VA Comicon, where comic books and toys take center stage, was filled with participants who dressed as popular characters.
CIAA spirit // Friends, fans and fun reign supreme at the annual CIAA Tournament held in Charlotte, N.C.
There’s no shortage of celebrities at the CIAA. Middle row from left: Mr. CIAA, Abraham “Ham” Mitchell, dressed in one of his signature outfits, takes a picture with fans during his walk through the arena.
Miss Shaw University Briona May beams after being crowned 2018 Miss CIAA on Saturday at CIAA Fan Fest. The senior from Hampton, who is majoring in social work, also won a $2,500 Food Lion scholarship.
Retired NBA star Earl the Pearl Monroe, who got his start at the CIAA’s Winston-Salem State University, is spotted on the sidelines.
Cheerleaders from various school squads show off their moves in the CIAA Cheerleading Competition.
Cheerleaders from various school squads show off their moves in the CIAA Cheerleading Competition. The Virginia State University Woo Woos
the VUU Rah-Rahs.
2 youth-serving clubs get makeover // Nearly $12 million is being poured into improvements to two institutions that offer services primarily to children and adults in Richmond’s African-American community: The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in Church Hill and the Northside Family YMCA.
The Salvation Army is spending $6.8 million to expand and improve the youth-serving club that has been a fixture at 3701 R St. since 1971.
The club that daily serves 90 youths ages 6 to 18 is now operating out of nearby Franklin Military Academy as the facility undergoes a facelift that begin in January.
Expected to reopen by next January, the construction means “we’ll be able to impact more youths more often,” said Hugh Jones.
The work being undertaken by Markel/Eagle Partners includes a major improvement to the indoor pool so it can be used year-round. The improvements also will provide new technology learning centers, space for adult learning and civic events, an expanded fitness area, an improved gym, a new roof, a new elevator and a 10,000-square foot addition.
Mr. Jones said the work will benefit other groups that use the building, such as Franklin Military Academy’s basketball team and Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School.
So far, $4.6 million has been raised for the project. The Salvation Army is working on raising the remaining $2.2 million.
Meanwhile, the Northside Family YMCA is getting a $5 million makeover at 4207 Old Brook Road, the site it has occupied since 1974.
The facility expects to remain open during the 10 to 11 months of construction and remodeling that began last month. The work will include expansion of the fitness area and more room for a teen center and additional programs, officials said.
KBS Inc. of Henrico is the contractor for the work and a similar improvement program for the Petersburg YMCA.
In response to Free Press queries, neither the Salvation Army nor the YMCA of Greater Richmond has identified any black-owned businesses involved in the work.
All hands on deck //
Richmond Fire Chief Melvin Carter, right, leads the charge to push a new fire truck into its new berth at Station 14 at 2932 Hawthorne Ave. in North Side. Among those helping during the traditional housing ceremony Saturday were Mayor Levar M. Stoney and 6-year-old Noah Ashe, whose family lives in a home just doors away from the station. Noah attended the ceremony with her dad, Jonathan Ashe, and year-old brother, David.
Sun-loving daffodils in North Side //