Participating in the ribbon cutting at John F. Kennedy Park (l-r) Brett Daniels, COO of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee; Dan Corso, Host Committee Chairman; Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms; Atlanta Falcons Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett; Atlanta

(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

Councilman Ivory Lee Young Remembered As Westside Park Becomes Super Bowl Legacy

Widow Talks About Seeking Late Husband's City Council Seat

Maria Boynton
January 31, 2019 - 4:08 pm

The late Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Lee Young was on the minds of many today. Remembered as one who fought for the development of Atlanta's Westside, today Young's idea of a newly renovated John F. Kennedy Park to serve the community, became reality. It was just 5 months ago that Councilman Young participated in the ground breaking for what was to be the legacy of Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. Young died from cancer just three months later. The Super Bowl is being played this Sunday.

The late Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Lee Young is shown with his family.
(Photo Credit: Family of Ivory Lee Young)

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms became emotional when she spoke of Young saying, "it's really about what are we leaving for others." She thanked the committee for "leaving something in this community for others."

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said of Young, "I actually thought of him sitting here. Big smile, small glasses and straw hat. Even on a cold day like today, a straw hat." Blank called it "a privilege to bring the park to this area."

Young's widow, Shalise Steele Young, said her husband's blood sweat and tears went into the conception of the park and in the turnaround being seen in the community.

Shalise Steele Young (4th from left), widow of Atlanta City Council Ivory Young joined in the celebration of the J.F. Kennedy Park Improvement Project
(Photo Credit: Maria Boynton/Entercom Atlanta)

The park is located next to Hollis Academy. The school's principal, Dr. Diamond Ford, said, "this investment in our neighborhood, in our children, says they matter and that means so much."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also on hand for the ribbon cutting. According to Goodell, the NFL wanted to make sure that when the Super Bowl is over, there is a legacy in the community. "This was an opportunity for us to give back", said Goodell.

According to a press release from the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, each year, the NFL seeks to improve the surrounding communities of the Super Bowl host city, through the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, by giving an annual $1 million contribution from the NFL Foundation. This year, a $2.4 million grant – supported by funding from the NFL Foundation, Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation – will go to the renovation of John F. Kennedy Park located in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhood.

The Capital Improvement Project, representing one of those five pillars, includes a full level turf playing surface, community walking path, Fit-Trail exercise system for fitness training, new playground equipment with soft turf underpinning, new hard-court basketball surface, shade picnic pavilion and sidewalk lighting for evening use. The previous playground equipment will be repurposed to upgrade nearby Ashby Circle Park.

Click below to hear Shalise Young Talk About Her Husband's Legacy As She Runs To Continue His Term.