Commissioner Jean Monestime (center) helped cut the ribbon for the newly expanded NFL YET Center at Gwen Cherry Park on Tuesday, July 24. Also pictured are State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, Attorney H.T. Smith of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and former Miami Dolphins player Nat Moore.
Nearly one hundred people, including community leaders, local youth and NFL officials, came out to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated NFL Youth Education Town (YET) Miami and the installation of new fitness equipment at Gwen Cherry Park on Tuesday, July 24, 2012.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime, District 2, unveiled the park improvements totaling more than $1 million, at a ribbon cutting ceremony which was attended by Attorney H.T. Smith, president of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee and former Miami Dolphins player Nat Moore.
The park is located at 7090 N.W. 22 Avenue, in Miami's Liberty City community.
The 5,000 square foot expansion of the NFL YET Center features modernized classrooms, media rooms and new administrative offices. The Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Spaces Department has also installed a new fitness station at the park.
Commissioner Jean Monestime, District 2, praised the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation for helping to make Gwen Cherry Park a jewel of the Miami-Dade County parks system.
"None of this, and I mean none of this, would have been possible without the hard work and diligence of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation. The Foundation provided the vision, the drive and the dedication that made the YET Center project a reality," said Commissioner Monestime.
"The improvements that we are unveiling today represent an investment, not only in this park, but an investment in the lives of the youth in this community," Commissioner Monestime said.
"Since its opening in 1996, the NFL YET Center has emerged as a focal point for the social and educational development of the children of Liberty City," Commissioner Monestime said. "Each year, more than 700 youth from this community use the YET Center's recreational and educational services."
This project marks the first of many improvements that Commissioner Monestime is working to make at Gwen Cherry Park and other parks in District 2. Commissioner Monestime is currently working to secure funding to improve lighting at Gwen Cherry Park.
The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation led the effort to secure funding for the renovation from the NFL Charities. The Foundation also worked with Miami-Dade County officials to obtain funding from the Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Program of Miami-Dade County.
(l-r) H.T. Smith, president of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, former Miami Dolphins player Nat Moore, Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee, State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, and County Commissioner Jean Monestime are joined by children at the NFL YET Center ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 24.