Gifford Park renamed to honor Victor Hart Sr.

GIFFORD — A local pioneer who dedicated his heart to improving his community had a park renamed in his honor at a dedication and unveiling ceremony.

Gifford Park was renamed Victor Hart Sr. Community Enhancement Complex in honor of former local chapter NAACP President Victor Hart Sr. Hart, 86, served as the original president of the local chapter for 45 years and is also a member and catalyst of the Progressive Civic League of Gifford.

Victor Hart Sr.

Hart championed the improvement of infrastructures in Gifford, including the construction of the community enhancement complex that consists of the Gifford Youth Achievement Center, Gifford Community Center, Gifford Aquatic Center, a baseball field, football field and a park.

Dr. A. Ronald Hudson, former chairman of the GYAC board and retired educator, said Hart was implemental in convincing county commissioners to provide property where kids in Gifford could learn and play and where people could meet for civil activities.

He also said Hart convinced the county to provide better equipment and maintenance at the park, create a new water and sewage system in the area, pave roads and remove junk cars.

The dedication ceremony began at 10 a.m. Saturday at the south end of the complex at 4715 43rd Avenue. A couple hundred people were in attendance, including County Commissioners Joe Flescher, Tim Zorc and Bob Solari, local NAACP president Tony Brown, Sheriff Deryl Loar, County Administrator Jason Brown and more.

Flescher presented Hart with a plaque of the proclamation announcing the complex name change during the ceremony. Several people took the stage and spoke about Hart’s Legacy.

“This is the first time in Indian River that a county property has been named after an African American,” said Brown, who was handpicked by Hart to succeed him as president of the NAACP. “I’m ecstatic.”

Gifford Park was renamed as the Victor Hart Sr. Community Enhancement Complex in honor of Victor Hart. Hart served as the president of the local NAACP chapter for 45 years and championed the improvement of infrastructures in #Gifford. Story coming soon.

Posted by Nick Samuel on Saturday, October 21, 2017


The crowd then gathered toward the park sign for the unveiling, which shows an image of Hart with the new name. Following the unveiling, Hart stood next to Flescher as he cut a ribbon to honor the name change.

“It was an honor to work with Hart with his involvement with the NAACP,” Flescher said. “He’s a civil individual who works in a civil way.”

More from park dedication in #Gifford

Posted by Nick Samuel on Saturday, October 21, 2017


Ten out of 11 of Hart’s children, Vernita Shepherd, Ronald Young, Victor Hart Jr., Wilfred Hart, Donald Hart, Vickie Hart Brent, Sonya Hart, Gerald Michael Hart, Denny Hart and Curtis Hart Sr., were present at the dedication. Frederick Young, another one of Hart’s children, recently passed away, according to family members.

“I’ve watched folks degrade my father and saw him persevere,” Wilfred Hart said. “He would always read and is a great influence in our lives. He’s our icon, but he’s still daddy to us.”








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