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Volunteers Work to Give Bed-Stuy Community Center a New Sheen

 Volunteers work on the outside of Herbert Von King Park's cultural arts center.
Volunteers work on the outside of Herbert Von King Park's cultural arts center.
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Part of Herbert Von King Park got a new look last weekend, thanks to a group of volunteers.

The non-profit group 500 Men Making A Difference joined members of the Bed-Stuy community as they stripped paint from the park's cultural arts center, near the entrance at Tompkins and Lafayette avenues, and gave it a new sheen Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

"We are continuing to improve this community park so the children there will have someplace to play safely," the group said.

Originally called Tompkins Park, Herbert Von King Park was renamed in 1985 for Herbert Von King, a community activist known as the "Mayor of Bedford-Stuyvesant," according to the Parks Department.

It is one of the oldest parks in Brooklyn's history, according to the department's website.

The community-built cultural arts center and amphitheater provides the community with access to dance and music, and teaches ceramics, tae kwon do, aerobics and other skills.

"I thought it'd be great come out and help repaint something that's been here for so long," volunteer Tajh Restrepo told New York 1.

This isn't the first time the group has given the center a much-needed facelift. In 2011, 500 Men Making a Difference helped paint both the inside and outside of the center while volunteers spruced up nearby garden beds.