Burke recommits to La Deara

Burke recommits to La Deara
December 31
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Mayor Pro Tempore Burke addresses reception guests.)

Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke asked La Deara Crest Estates residents to give thanks to those who have paved the way and to help guide the generation that will next walk down the path. She delivered those charges on Tuesday, Dec. 16 during a holiday reception she hosted at the apartment complex off 25th Street.

“We need to work hard to uplift the children in the area,” said Burke. “Whether we give birth to them or not, we have a responsibility to help guide and lead them so that they can be productive,” she said to a group of teenagers at the event. “We want to lift you, not stand on the side and say what you ought to be doing, but we want to make ourselves useful and resourceful for you to be the productive people for the future.”

Burke announced that she would create a fund to help students cover the costs of class trips and other education- or work-related expenses. Those who benefit from the fund must have at least a C grade point average and regularly attend school.

Burke is credited with helping to turnaround La Deara, formerly Fairchild Apartments. She worked to bring together Liberty East Redevelopment, a private contractor, and the City of Winston-Salem to renovate the 249-unit complex and provide families with guidance at the Naomi W. Jones Resource Center.



“The property had that stigma to it,” said Naomi Jones, president emeritus of Liberty East Redevelopment. “Sometimes when you give something a new name and change the street names, it puts a different light on things.”

Jones said that Burke’s dedication to the area goes deeper than making sure there are livable homes in the area.

“She wants to make sure that these young children have a decent place to go, to make sure that they are studying and trying to do something positive in the neighborhood to make things better for the children and adults too,” she said.

Ike Black knows this firsthand. The former parole and probation officer works at the center part time as the resource service coordinator and says Burke’s concern for the community is authentic.

“When she speaks, she follows it up with action and any support and resources that I need,” he said. “I know that there are people out here like Mrs. Burke that care. Those are the type of people I’m trying to reach to come in here to work with the youth.”

Emma Westbrook, 81, has lived in the La Deara Crest area for more than 20 years. She says Burke stops by often, without notice, to check on and chat with residents.

Vivian Burke with Emma Westbrook.

Vivian Burke with Emma Westbrook.

“She always comes around unexpectedly. She’s like popcorn: she’ll pop up anytime,” Westbrook said.

During the reception, Burke honored Marty Tennille, and her husband, Ben, founders of H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem, a nonprofit dedicated to providing children and families with nutritious and healthy meals.

The couple visits the area in their mobile food truck every Sunday, providing lunch for roughly 50 to 60 children and giving out bags of fresh produce.

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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