Cooper-Young Community Association wraps up the year

Highlights from 2013:

Art for Art’s Sake Auction – This annual event, hosted at Young Avenue Deli, celebrates the talents of our local artists and raises funds for the CYCA and the Trestle Art. This year’s Art for Art’s Sake Auction raised funds to help make the Trestle Solar Project possible.

Art Showings – The CYCA hosted a lovely art show from local artist Katie McWeeney, who also donated a beautiful piece to our Art for Art’s Sake Auction. McWeeney’s bold three-dimensional artwork that was so popular at the Art Auction really popped in our meeting space and brightened the area. We are looking forward to more art showings in 2014.

Building Tenants – The CYCA office building has two bays that the Association rents out to help pay the building’s mortgage. Charmed, a consignment clothing store, is celebrating its third year. Ray Rico Freelance has been a welcome addition in the building as well and is about to celebrate its first anniversary. InCity Reality, owned by long-time CY resident Debbie Sowell, also shares office space in our office.

Code Awareness – We are proud to have a very strong relationship with the City of Memphis and Shelby County Code Enforcement departments. Longtime City of Memphis Code Inspector Troy Brown has retired, but Inspector Cooper that now works the Cooper-Young area is very passionate and involved in helping combat blight.

Cooper-Young Community Yard Sale – The community-wide, annual yard sale is always a big hit both with bargain hunters and residents wanting to clear out some extra space in their homes.

Cooper-Young Festival Friday 4 Miler and Festival booth – The 2013 running of the 4 Miler had a record number of runners.  It is an awe-inspiring sight to see approximately 2,500 race participants fill the streets of Cooper-Young. As is tradition, neighbors competed to throw the most spirited Light the Way party along the race route and runners were very impressed with the neighborhood’s enthusiasm. Due to the growth of the race and increase in the number of runners, some expenses were increased this year versus last year.  Some of those were for resources we will be able to utilize next year. The CYCA Festival booth sold posters and T-shirts as well as history books, maps and koozies.

Cooper-Young Regional Beerfest – This much anticipated Cooper-Young fundraising event has definitely hit its stride.  Brewers from around the region joined in the fun to educate event-goers about the different types of beer that are available right in the area.  This year, the location was moved to Midtown Autowerks to accommodate growth.

Executive Director Due to the growth of the association, the CYCA board voted to take our part-time community director to full-time executive director in March.

Halloween safety and fun – Signs were posted to remind trick-or-treaters to be safe while having fun. Neighbors joined the festivities by decorating their yards in hope of winning the coveted Great Pumpkin Award.

Holiday and Volunteer Thank You Party – The CYCA Board of Directors hosts this party for the entire community to honor the volunteers who work hard all year.

Holiday snack bags – Volunteers drop off homemade goods or pre-packaged snacks for the police and firefighters who work the night shift on Christmas Eve.

LampLighter – Year round, dedicated volunteers and a few key staff members put in numerous hours to bring the LampLighter to Cooper-Young residents. This vital neighborhood publication helps keep those in the area abreast of local news through both its print and online versions as well as its active Twitter feed.

Membership Drive – The number of great discounts to local businesses keeps growing each year. Join early to make the most of your membership and have full voting rights for CYCA leaders.

Murals – We are thrilled that the McLean Mural is about 99.5 percent complete. Artist Carl Moore, with the help of Jamie Steward and several volunteers, has created a beautiful and bold welcoming public art piece underneath what used to be a drab, graffiti-tagged railroad underpass. Moore also plans to create some computer wallpapers and coloring pages for local residents to enjoy. The Barksdale Mural kicked off in October and will be complete in 2014.

National Night Out – Block clubs and neighbors hold lawn parties, catch up with one another and celebrate to help combat crime in August for National Night Out. The Memphis Police Department visited several parties to say hello and educate residents on how to stay safe against crime. Target donated some fun swag for kids and adults to enjoy and Central BBQ provided great discounts on catering packages so no party host was overly burdened with prep work.

Neighborhood cleanups – At least four times a year the Beautification Committee organizes clean ups in the community to keep us looking good.

St Jude Marathon Water Station – Volunteers help ensure that the St. Jude marathon runners are greeted with a smile and cup of water or Gatorade as they come through the neighborhood. Local residents and businesses also cheer along the race route throughout the area in support of this great local cause.

Trestle Solar Project We must not be good stewards of just our neighborhood — we must also be good stewards of the planet, which is why we have taken the iconic Trestle Art over Cooper Street solar and converted all the light bulbs to long-lasting LED light bulbs and installed a battery-based solar power system to power the lights that are illuminated in the artwork. This project, originally proposed by resident Daniel Atlas, was made possible through the support of the Cooper-Young Business Association, Frank and Sue Guarino, InBalance Fitness, Memphis Animal Clinic, Midtown massage and Bodywork, Tsunami, Sharp Electronics, Schwartz Electric and numerous resident donors. It was completed in September.


The CYCA Board of Directors will hold its annual retreat in early January 2014. This is the time when the board looks back at the previous years and begins planning for the upcoming year. Thoughts and ideas from residents are encouraged. You may send them to


  • Events – Festival Friday 4 Miler, Art Auction, Beerfest, Festival booth,
  • LampLighter – ad sales, email sponsorships, LampLighter Benefactors
  • Memberships and Donations
  • Building – rent from the two commercial spaces and shared office space
  • Programs/Projects – beautification, CY history book sales


  • Events – Festival Friday 4 Miler, Art Auction, Beerfest, Festival booth, Alley Survey
  • LampLighter – printing, management, production, online support/hosting
  • Membership and donations – envelopes, postage, paper
  • Building – taxes, insurance, maintenance
  • Programs/Projects – Trestle Solar Project, National Night Out, clean-ups
  • Executive Director – full-time wages
  • Office – postage, supplies

2013 TOTAL INCOME – $180,023.11*

70% Events – $125,238.07

12% LampLighter – $21,490.00

7% Membership/Donations – $12,445.93

11% Building – $19,726.70

1% Other (including mural donations) – $1,122.41

2013 TOTAL EXPENSES – $182,901.89*

37% Events/Projects – $68,225.09

15% LampLighter – $27,268.22

23% Building – $41,682.36**

10% Office & Overhead – $17,642.16

15% Executive Director – $28,079.06

<1% Other – $5

*Totals as of 11/14/2013

** The CYCA Board also approved and made a payment of $30,000 to dramatically decrease the loan on our building.

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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