How do you celebrate a 23-year-old whose life was about loving, fun and caring? For Crystal Anderson, 27, the answer is to give back to the community that her cousin, Corey Freeman, loved.
Sunday would have been Corey Freeman’s birthday. But the young Greenport man died in a motor vehicle accident on Route 48 in Southold on Feb. 13, 2010.
Now, Ms. Anderson, two of Mr. Freeman’s sisters — Charmaine and Ebony — and his girlfriend, Nicole Ellerson, have established the Forever Young Foundation. Its goal is to raise money to transform the Third Street basketball court from an eyesore into a neighborhood showplace that can become a drug-free zone with the help of Southold Town police.
“It’s the heart of Greenport,” Ms. Anderson said during an interview Monday afternoon, explaining her focus on the basketball court as the foundation’s initial project. While many other foundations raise money for scholarships, those dollars don’t help a lot of youths who never go to college, she said.
“The foundation is about investing in our young people,” Ms. Anderson said.
The women are dedicating the first annual Forever Young Benefit Concert and Dinner on Oct. 22 to Mr. Freeman and his close friend, Jefferson “Naquawn” Treadwell, who died July 18 in a dirt bike accident on a private road in East Marion.
The Greenport basketball court was a place where both men played, but they also shared community concerns about the condition of the court and drug trafficking that became prevalent in the area.
Ms. Anderson estimated that fixing up the court will cost about $10,000. She said she sees the project as the first in a series of annual projects dedicated not only to the memories of the two men, but also to the youth of the neighborhood, who need healthy, fun activities to keep them on a straight and narrow path.
The women have been working fast and furiously on the benefit for the past month, enlisting support from Greenport Mayor David Nyce, village clerk Sylvia Lazzari Pirillo, town Supervisor Scott Russell, Southold Police Capt. Martin Flatley and numerous merchants and performers.
Capt. Flatley has promised increased police presence to patrol the area of the basketball court, Ms. Anderson said.
Performers at the concert, which will be preceded by a dinner at Greenport’s main firehouse, include Mike Check, Bigg Premiere with Toast Da MC, Deuce and Kopy-Koo.
Forever Young Foundation
Benefit Concert and Dinner
In Memory of Corey Freeman and Jefferson ‘Naquawn’ Treadwell
Friday, Oct. 22
Dinner: 6 p.m. Third Street firehouse, Greenport
Concert: 8 p.m. Townsend Manor Inn
Tickets: $40 for dinner and concert, $20 for dinner only, $25 for concert only
Call 477-0329 or 566-7737