Circle of Champions Walk Honors Local Leaders


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By Miranda Reale

POUGHKEEPSIE – A new gateway in the city of Poughkeepsie was set into motion last Saturday when city organizations broke ground on the Corey Ingram Circle Champions Walk Memorial. Currently, the roundabout marking the gateway between the town and the city of Poughkeepsie directs traffic around the circle where drivers pass a public park and a public housing development. The first project of three, the stories, legacies and future stories of community members and leaders who have shaped the city, specifically the north side, will be memorialized. The three-part design will take the physical form of a centerpiece in the middle of the roundabout and the circle will include a memorial to its namesake, Ingram.

The Champions Walk, planned to line the street of the Hudson Gardens Apartments, will stand steel markers stretching almost six feet tall and will each display an image, short biography and quote from the honoree. Back in June of 2018, members of the community and the family of Corey Ingram gathered to rename the roundabout after him. Ingram was a Poughkeepsie native and a U.S. Navy technician. He was killed after the ship in which he was traveling collided with a 600-pound tanker off the coast of Malaysia.

“Today we are celebrating five individuals who have made a great impact in this community,” said Councilwoman Yvonne Flowers . “The fact that our children can come through this ward and read about what these individuals have done, where they can read about the history of Poughkeepsie, and they can walk through here with pride and respect, knowing that they get to see people from there neighborhood who are actually impacting this community in such a beautiful way,” she continued.

Five individuals were chosen to be honored, though more than 40 names were submitted. With a demand like this, the organizers hope to add two honorees every year. This year’s honorees in alphabetical order were:

Theodore “Tree” Arrington, the Founder of Relationship, Empowerment, Affirmation, Leadership (R.E.A.L.) Skills Network.

Barbara Jeter-Jackson, Dutchess County legislator who also served on boards for organizations such as R.E.A.L. Skills Network, Vassar Brothers Medical Center and the City of Poughkeepsie Planning Board.

Wesley J. Lee, the Founder of Save At Risk Youth for Corporate America (SARCA).
Perinnella “Penny” Lewis, a Former Fifth Ward councilmember.

Lastly, Lorraine Roberts, a Poughkeepsie high school teacher for 30 years, and former president of the Dutchess County Historical Society award-winning community activist.

Partnered with the city, Poughkeepsie Alliance, supplied the funding by way of donations and grants.

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