For Immediate Release
Date: June 11, 2013
More than 100 people turned out Tuesday morning to dedicate a bridge in Coffee Bluff for the late neighborhood leader Mary “Bootsie” Johnson.
Johnson, who died in 2009, was a beloved Coffee Bluff resident and supervisor of the City’s Crusader Community Center, located just down the road from the bridge.
District 6 Alderman Tony Thomas told stories of Johnson’s tireless advocacy of the children and seniors in Coffee Bluff, as well her commitment to the Crusader Center. Thomas advocated for the bridge naming following her death.
“A bridge connects. A bridge gives folks a way,” Thomas said. “In so many ways, Mary Johnson was a bridge. She was a bridge of caring, a bridge of understanding, a bridge for people that needed love and someone to love them. She was a bridge of inspiration that offered hope to people that needed it the most.”
City of Savannah Parks and Recreation Director Barry Baker, who was Ms. Johnson’s supervisor during part of her 30-year tenure with the City, said she ran the center “in a way that made an impact on the lives of these kids. That’s how she did things. She was committed.”
Mayor Edna Jackson said Ms. Johnson turned the Crusader Center into something of a second home for Coffee Bluff.
“She created a living room for the entire community,” Mayor Jackson said. “She wanted all of us – the young people and the old people – to be one there.”