The 26th Annual MLK Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day Complete Success

Close to 2,000 attendees enjoyed a wonderful time at the 26th Annual MLK Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day on Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Dr. King Park. The City of Urbana was a proud GOLD SPONSOR this year, as well! Connections were made, relationships built, our community came together and united, resources and networking, memories created, and the legacy of the late Mrs. Jettie Rhodes continues to live on because of this initiative. The City had a great time, as depicted above with Urbana Police Chief Larry D. Boone, who was seen here playing 'Red Light Green Light' with the kids. Jettie Rhodes' quote, "Who's your neighbor?" is reflected in this annual event that is for the entire community; all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life. Attendees enjoyed free food and drink, prizes, games, dancing, community booths, and contests.

About Mrs. Jettie Rhodes: Jettie Florence Johnson was born on May 26, 1937, in Grenada, Mississippi, to Samuel Johnson, Sr. and Florence Kindle Johnson. ​

Mrs. Jettie Rhodes, a distinguished leader in the Urbana community, was devoted to giving back and serving as a positive role model for the youth. A passionate advocate for youth and positive change, Mrs. Rhodes actively participated in various organizations within the Urbana community, including UCAP, UCAN, Teen Outreach Center Inc., and served as a Commissioner in Urbana. Alongside her community involvement, she owned and operated Rhodes TLC Daycare, fostering numerous meaningful relationships throughout the Urbana/Champaign area.

Mrs. Rhodes, along with fellow residents in her neighborhood, initiated a selfless event where they contributed funds from their pockets to purchase food, supplies, and other essentials. Their shared commitment to prioritizing the needs of others, ensuring an enjoyable day without financial burden, remained a central focus. This event has left a lasting impact on many families and community members.

Despite Mrs. Rhodes's passing in April of 1998, her legacy endures. In June of the same year, Mayor Todd Satterwaite proclaimed the 4th Saturday in June as Martin Luther King Jettie Rhodes Neighborhood Day. In 2017, Mayor Diane Marlin re-proclaimed this day in her honor, recognizing the ongoing positive influence she continues to have on the community. In 2006, a pavilion was dedicated in Mrs. Rhodes' honor, acknowledging her extraordinary leadership, willingness to help others, and the enduring relationships she fostered in the Urbana community.

The annual event, drawing nearly 2,000 participants and organizations each year, includes contributions from entities such as Urbana Park District, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, Urbana School District, Parkland College Adult Re-Entry Program, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Champaign-Urbana Ques, Crisis Nursery, Meijer, Buffalo Wild Wings, Stone Creek Church, Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, and many more. Mrs. Jettie Rhodes' impact on the community is celebrated on this day, acknowledging the positive difference she made and continues to make in the lives of many.


Go to the website here. Photos by Janet Soesbe of the Urbana Park District.

Last modified:Monday, July 8, 2024 - 09:01
- Author: BridgetB