Northside Youth Organization will celebrate 70 years of youth sports with an Oct. 6 “Homecoming” celebration, and is seeking historic photos and stories from current and past players and supporters.

Based in Chastain Park, the nonprofit NYO serves nearly 5,000 children each year in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and other metro Atlanta communities. NYO began as a football program in 1949 and now offers baseball, softball, cheerleading and girls and boys basketball.

A Northside Youth Organization collage showing players from the 1960s through 2980s includes faces the organization hopes former players and supporters can identify.

Larry Bennett, NYO’s board vice president and historian, and former Executive Director “Miss Jane” Wilkins are working on a history to present at the celebration.

“We are relying on our memories to reconstruct the history of the organization, but there are gaps in the early years,” said Bennett in a press release.

“We are looking to the community to help us fill in those gaps,” said Wilkins.

Anyone with photos or stories to share can send them to current Executive Director Josh Burr at

The “Homecoming” will be an adults-only celebration with Wilkins as “Homecoming Queen” and an honoring of former NYO presidents. The event will be held at Chastain Park on Oct. 6, 5-8 p.m. Admission is $40 per person and $70 per couple, with tickets available at

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.