The information the AFRO received and which formed the basis of this community news brief was incorrect. The Feb. 7 event was a community meeting to discuss the idea of renaming the Rosedale Recreation Center after Reginald “Kiyi” Ballard. Instead, the information given to the AFRO both verbally and in written form suggested the event was the actual renaming of the center.

District native Reginald “Kiyi” Ballard was passionate about his community and more specifically, local youth. Although he died nearly five years ago, Ballard’s legacy remains evident in Northeast Washington, D.C., where the Rosedale Recreation Center will be renamed the Reginald “Kiyi” Ballard Recreation Center on Feb. 7. Ward 6 Councilman Tommy Wells serves as the event’s host.

Ballard worked as a recreation center director in the Langston, Kelly Miller, Douglas and Benning-Stoddert communities. He formed strong friendships with local children, their families and area school officials. He later volunteered to work with pre-school children, teachers and parents at the Rosedale Recreation Center on 16th Street N.E. There, he established “Puppets with a Purpose,” a family-friendly program that became a citywide success. Demand for Ballard’s puppet shows grew, and he often traveled to Maryland and Virginia with his staff.

In addition, the Morgan State University alum and athletics Hall of Fame inductee created several clubs for senior citizens; some still operate today. Ballard never lost his love for the area’s children and young adults and for several years awarded a scholarship to at least one deserving student at his alma mater Cardozo High School, along with his wife, Sarah. The Ballards also helped raise more than $300,000 for scholarship funding at Morgan State.

The Rosedale Recreation Center renaming ceremony takes place Feb. 7, 7-9 p.m., at 16th St. N.E.