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ATL Barbershop/Salon giving back: A MLK Day of Service project
BY FRANK DROUZAS, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Anthony Link, owner of ATL Barbershop/Salon, is planning to furnish some fun, freebies and even a fire truck for the youth of the community on MLK Day 2018.
ATL, which stands for Antony Tyrone Link, has been operating for almost five years at 2910 18th Ave. S. On Jan. 14, the Sunday before the holiday, Link will open up his grounds to all by giving away free food, haircuts and also free samples of hair care products such as shampoos and hair oils.
There will even be a bounce house for the kids and a fire truck on hand, along with special guest speakers.
“I’ve got a couple speakers that are coming out to bring positive messages,” he explained, “to speak to our youth.”
Speakers will vary from those instructing young people about proper hair care to renowned community organizer Jabaar Edmond.
Link decided that by beginning the festivities on Sunday at his shop, it would be a great opportunity for the young people to get spruced up for the holiday the next day.
“I figured that the kids can go to the parade with their hair cut,” he said.
On Monday, Link plans to watch the parade with his own family, but as soon as it’s over he will set up at the Tropicana Field lot, along with other vendors, and offer more free haircuts and giveaways. He said he’d like to get a speaker to come down with him to the stadium on the holiday as well.
Though this will be his first time participating in the MLK Day of Service, Link—with his desire to give back to his community—said he had planned to hold such an event at some point, but saw the Day of Service as an ideal time to open up his shop and offer up his skills and wares to the residents of the area.
“I was going around asking for help,” he explained, “because closed mouths don’t get fed. Then I just ran across the right person who told me about the program. So that was perfect for me.”
Link plans to have a number of volunteers collaborating with him and helping to bring it all together and believes it will be a good time had by all.
“I’m very excited about it, to be honest with you,” he enthused. “I’m very, very excited!”