Farnam ‘Sports Celebrities’ Shine

Markeshia Ricks PhotoThe Farnam Community recognized some hometown heroes at its 10th Sports Celebrity Breakfast.

At an event Tuesday at Anthony’s Ocean View, friends of the Farnam Community (formerly the Farnam Neighborhood House) gathered over breakfast to raise money for the Fair Haven center and the children it serves.

They also gathered to honor some familiar faces and get some words of encouragement from the University of Connecticut Baseball Coach James F. Penders who reminded attendees, many of whom were local student-athletes, the importance of being good teammates and giving back to their community. 

Tuesday’s event was a full circle moment for Dr. Tamiko Jackson-McArthur.

The New Haven pediatrician grew up in the Fair Haven section of the city and she was a regular at the center as a child. She was a camp counselor at Camp Farnam. McArthur now serves as the president of the board of directors for the Farnam Community.

“If you grew up in Fair Haven and you didn’t go to Farnam we wouldn’t believe that you were from Fair Haven,” McArthur said Tuesday. “Every one who grew up in Fair Haven went to Farnam.”

WTNH News 8’s Ann Nyberg didn’t grow up in Fair Haven, but it was the first place she lived when she moved to New Haven from Oklahoma, so it holds a special place for her. Known for her charity work with children - - she founded the Toy Closet at Yale-New Haven Hospital and hosts the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s annual Stay in School Rally — Nyberg Tuesday received the Polly Sweeten Excellence in Sports Award.

The award is named for the former Farnam Neighborhood House Board of Directors member of the same name who also served on the New Haven Democratic Town Committee, the Fair Haven Neighborhood Corp., the St. Francis Parish House. Sweeten also chaired the Mayor’s Commission on Aging and was a member of what was then the Board of Aldermen.

Full circle moments abounded Tuesday. Frank Redente, a recently named Board of Education member who has served as the operations director at Farnam, said that he remembered Jackson-McArthur as a child and now she’s president of the board. He also remembers mentoring a young Michael Jackson, who grew up in the neighborhood coming to Farnam, and ultimately became a volunteer coach.

That young man grew up and raised two daughters who also grew up playing and volunteering at Farnam just as their dad did. Jackson was recognized Tuesday for his 23 years of service as the Biddy Basketball director.

The Farnam Community also recognized its inaugural Rising Star award to recognize rising seniors in the greater New Haven area who excel in academics and sports. Kwane Taylor, a Wilbur Cross student-athlete, took home that honor Tuesday along with $500 that he can use toward his future college expenses.

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posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on December 6, 2017  8:45pm

What is the connection between the Farnam Community, the mayor, and the Board of Education?
Is it a rather peculiar coincidence that so many individuals connected to Farnam are on or will be on the New Haven Board of Education. Farnam’s new executive director, Jamell Cotto, is Harp’s most recent appointee to the board. Longtime Farnam employee Frank Redente is a Harp appointee to the Board of Education. Harp’s newest appointee to the Board of Education is Dr.Tamiko Jackson-McArthur, who is the president of the Board of Directors of Farnham Community.
These people are to be commended for the great work they do with young people, but what about having more diversity on the Board of Education? More importantly, what about more independent thinking on that board? But the most important concern of many parents is an apparent conflict of interest. Three affiliates of one community agency serving on the same board does not appear reasonable or healthy. If Frank Redente is an employee of Farnam, then Executive Director Jamell Cotto is his boss, and Cotto has to answer to the president of the Board of Directors of Farnam Community, Dr. Jackson-McArthur!
Three out of seven members of the New Haven Board of Education, all Harp appointees, will be people from the Farnam Community of Fair Haven!
Isn’t that strange?

posted by: Ewood_Parent on December 7, 2017  5:53am

FYI….Frank Redente is no longer an employee of the Farnam Community, he retired from his position over a year ago, before being appointed to the BOE.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on December 7, 2017  8:48am

posted by: Ewood_Parent on December 7, 2017 5:53am

FYI….Frank Redente is no longer an employee of the Farnam Community, he retired from his position over a year ago, before being appointed to the BOE.

He still sold the parents outs.

@ Thomas Alfred Paine

On point.

posted by: Ewood_Parent on December 7, 2017  10:53am

@threefifths

Not all parents feel like they were sold out. Many of us agreed with the choice for Superintendent. So why don’t we quit with the “sour grapes” and support the choice that was made. Carol Birks is our new Superintendent and all your whining and complaining wont change that fact! Want to make a change?? Run for office!!

posted by: RHeerema on December 7, 2017  11:42am

I need to honor Elizabeth Gambardella’s life work as leader of Farnam Neighborhood House for decades. Thank you, Liz!

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on December 7, 2017  8:52pm

posted by: Ewood_Parent on December 7, 2017 10:53am
@threefifths

Not all parents feel like they were sold out. Many of us agreed with the choice for Superintendent.

And maany of us do not agree with the choice and feel we was sold out.So your point.

So why don’t we quit with the “sour grapes” and support the choice that was made. Carol Birks is our new Superintendent and all your whining and complaining wont change that fact!

Nothing to do with “sour grapes” and whining and complaining.Has to do with the back room deal that was cut.

Want to make a change?? Run for office!!

I would love to run for office if you would help me get the follwing.

1) Proportional representation

2)Ballot access

3)Open Primaries

4) IRV VOTING

My bad. I forgot.If you can not help me get the above to run.Then get me One of those back room deals.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on December 7, 2017  10:05pm

@Ewood_Parent

I see why you hold you point of view.Birds of a feather flock together.

posted by: Ewood_Parent on December 1, 2016 1:35pm

As a life long New Havener, I feel blessed to have Toni Harp as my Mayor and would be thrilled to have her as Governor. During her campaign for Mayor she focused on the City’s youth and as of today there are more programs for the kids in New Haven than ever before. As a Youth Advocate, she will eternally have my respect and admiration. Mayor Harp truly cares about our city and its residents and I’m sick and tired of hearing negative comments about her. If you think you can do better, why don’t you run?