The opening of the Elese Tomlin Community Center was officially celebrated at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony at the newly constructed building located at 204 Gadson St., Groveland. Council Member Mike Radzik proudly proclaimed, “We are seeing a rebirth of the city and a bright future for the youth of the community”.
Groveland Council Member Johnny Griffin was born and raised down the street from the community center, which he said, at one time was called “The Quarters”. He advised everyone that in order to move forward, the past must be remembered.
Elese, the oldest of 12 children, moved to Groveland nearly 100 years ago, met her late husband, Eddie Tomlin, and had two children. She did her daily housekeeping chores until she was 102 years old. Mary Harris, the granddaughter of Elese Tomlin said her grandmother would say, “There isn’t a lazy bone in my body”. When she died at 107 years old, she left behind daughter Bernice Louise Harris of Groveland, sister Julia Dorsey and brother James Harris; six grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 43 great-great-grandchildren; 13 and counting great-great-great-grandchildren.
Anointed Community Services (ACSI) a non-profit community-based organization will manage and administer the services at the Center. Its primary focus is on youth, single women with children, and elderly who are economically and technologically disadvantaged.
Linda Cowels, president of Anointed Community Services, announced that the center will be providing job training, life skills, and computer training. In addition, the center currently has 36 children, ages 6-13, enrolled in its summer program which provides free lunch, snacks, and studies in arts, math, science, cultural awareness and computer technology. Field trips are included in the program.