Home > News > Jackson, Hanchett families and friends celebratee annual community reunion July 1 in Sawyerville

Jackson, Hanchett families and friends celebratee annual community reunion July 1 in Sawyerville


The G.W. Jackson Family Park in Sawyerville hosted its 19th Family Friends & Community Reunion & Celebration on Saturday, July 1. The event took place on the land where the visionary of the Family Park, the late Sgt. George W. Jackson, was born in 1922. “We will forever KEEP HIS DREAM ALIVE!!” family members said.

The celebration and parade were a success with great participation, lots of candy and New Orleansstyle beads for all the kids and other spectators. Many enjoyed riding their 4- wheelers, motorcycles, gocarts, and other motorized ATVs. Delicious food, great fun, and exciting fireworks were enjoyed inside the park. “Thank you to our son, Attorney Paul Hanchett, for a great job with the fireworks! The fireworks were beautiful, and it was great meeting new people from all around the community,” said Dr. Donald Hanchett and his wife, Geonice Jackson Hanchett.

The weather was hot, but fun was had by all.

Dr. Donald Hanchett and Geonice Jackson Hanchett expressed their gratitude to several special people who helped make the 19th celebration a huge success. They thanked the professional drumline “Shockwave Percussion,” led by Rico Holt, founder and CEO, for driving over from Atlanta, Georgia, to participate in the parade in loving memory of their beloved son, Donald J. Hanchett II, a former classmate and percussionist at Tucker High School in Tucker, Georgia. “They did a phenomenal job!” they said.


They also thanked their son and granddaughter, Kevin Hanchett and Alexis Griffin, former drum majors in the band at Tucker High School, for their outstanding performance in the parade. Additionally, they expressed gratitude to the “Sweet Sisters of Ladies In Stride Incorporated” for their participation and help with the floats. The ladies traveled from several different states, including Georgia, Alabama, and New York. “Each of them brought their sweet and positive spirits to all the activities, including the parade. Purple & White For Life!” they said. The L.I.S. float was driven by Percy Lawson, and the Family & Friends Float was driven by Rayderell Tinker.

“Our mother and L.I.S. sister, Vernice P. Jackson, is 93 years old and wasn’t able to attend this year, and was truly missed, but we told her how everything turned out and presented her with beautiful roses at her home,” they said.

They also thanked Keanan Williams from Atlanta, Cullen Hanchett from Baton Rouge, and Nathan Harris from Buffalo, New York, for their much-needed help with the setup and breakdown for the event. They expressed gratitude to family member Joe Martin for always participating with his horse or motorcycle from Detroit, Michigan.

They thanked the 1978 Druid High School classmates Kenneth Eatmon, Gladys Eatmon, and Douglas Tyree for their participation and the very professional slideshow.

“Thank you so very much to our adult children, Panette Griffin, Kevin Hanchett, Attorney Paul Hanchett, and wife Ashley Hanchett, for taking the lead for this legendary annual event and doing an exceptional job! As we all know, the next generation is our future!!” they said.

They also thanked all of their family members, friends, and the many participants from the Sawyerville community who attended. “A very special thank you to our niece, LaKisa Cockrell, for her help with the beautiful floats. Thank you to our niece, Curette Gonzales, for her donation. And thank you to our sisters and brothers who attended, Geoffrey Jackson, Georgette Pruitt, George G. Jackson (wife Cynthia), Georita Griffin, and Dr. Georanda Richardson (husband Earl),” they said.

A very special thank you was extended to their daughter, Panette Griffin, for organizing and lining up everyone for the parade, and to Sheriff Michael Hamilton and Deputy Michael Mitchell for doing a great job leading off the parade. They also thanked Obadiah Benson of the Sawyerville Fire Department and Jamieh Frugson of the Akron, Alabama, Fire Department for driving their fire trucks in the parade. They expressed gratitude to Tom Paige for participating with his ice cream truck and to Willie for his participation with his “Shaved Ice” truck. They also thanked Chef Donald Ray Anderson for preparing the delicious BBQ meals and having his food truck set up at the G.W. Jackson Family Park during the celebration.

“The 2023 Hanchett Appreciation Awards were presented to Michael Bates and Jody Burell. Our Antique Car Award was presented to Raymond Tinker. Congratulations to all!!” they said.

“Looking forward to seeing everyone next year on Saturday, July 6, 2024, for our 20th Grand Family, Friends & Community Reunion & Celebration! Please contact us if you would like to participate in the parade or help us in any way with this great event. gwjacksonfamilypark@ yahoo.com or call 404.855.1518 and leave us a voice message with your name and contact number, and we will reach back out to you. Thank you very much! To God be the glory!!” they concluded.

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