After nearly 50 years local businessman Roschell Franklin Jr., is still giving back to the community
Commissioner Robert Mckenzie (r), joins Roschell Franklin, Jr., during the Community Fun Appreciation Day at Franklin’s Bail Bonds. The fun filled event featured food, music, and a health fair.
By Charles Moseley
There aren’t very many businesses located in Fort Lauderdale’s predominantly African American community that can say they have been in business for almost 50 years; so that places local business owner Roschell Franklin Jr., among a special group of Black entrepreneurs locally. Franklin Bail Bonds has been in operation since in 1966.
Franklin Bail Bonds sponsored a Community Fun Appreciation Day on Jan. 30, 2015 at his office parking lot location at 771 N.W. 22 Rd., Fort Lauderdale. The Community Fun Appreciation Day featured music, food, and a mini-health fair.
“I spoke with other business owners and people from the community and we decided that having the event to help people who were having health problems would be a good thing to do,” said Franklin.
“So we reached out to the Florida Department of Health in Broward County Florida, who provided health screening for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV testing and Hepatitis B screening. CVS Pharmacy was also on hand to help reach out to those in the area with helpful information in addition to providing health screenings as well. It was a way of doing my thing to show appreciation,” Franklin added.
Rodney Baltimore of WHQT/HOT 105’s The Tom Joyner Morning Show stopped by to support the effort and has also helped promote many community efforts over the years during his local broadcast. Balti-more applauded Franklin for his community service efforts.
“Obviously he’s not just a person who has a business here. He lives here and he thinks about the well being of the people who live here. Having a health fair helps people who don’t necessarily go to the doctor. They can get something done right here in their neighborhood and get a variety of healthcare services and they’re free.”
Herbie Pitters owns and operates Over Seas Auto Parts Exports in Franklin’s office building. He offered his impressions of Franklin, having known him for 35 years.
“I take Mr. Franklin as a brother and one of the reasons why we’ve become so close is because of his attitude towards customers. For the years that I’ve shared the office with him I’ve yet to meet one person who has not had good things to say about him. I’ve seen him give people jobs and trained them and turned them into very good citizens. He’s been a role model for this community.”
Betsy Pearson joined fellow members of the Broward Ebony Golf Association, which Franklin is also a member of, on hand to support the effort. Pearson, a member of the golf club since 2005, helped coordinate the event.
“Today Broward Ebony Golf Association served hot dogs and refreshments donated by Tony’s Market located right here in the neighborhood, for the participants who participated today. This was really Roschell Franklin’s idea because he wanted to do something for the community. So this was really his baby. It’s just that everybody else stepped in to help him fulfill a dream that he had.”
Ebony Golf Association President Dexter Guillett and an account executive with Southern Wine & Spirits pitched in to give a hand and share his thoughts on the day’s event.
“We’re here today to throw our support behind Mr. Roschell Franklin’s effort to help people in the community. I think what he’s doing is very positive. He’s a man that’s been in this community all his life and well known in his community. For him to still believe in helping Blacks and all people to have the opportunity to come out to be tested and gain some know-ledge about their health is a good thing.”
Giving back to the community is nothing new to Franklin who has been active in this community for many years serving in leadership roles in several community based organizations including; the Fort Lauderdale Pride of the Elk’s Lodge 652, Florida A & M University Broward County Alumni Chapter, and local Broward Kiwanis.
Franklin and his wife of 53 years are longtime residents of Broward County. They have a daughter ,Trachell and two sons, Ellery and Elbert, who’s deceased.
“This was done for the people over the years who’ve supported me. In this society it’s about people who give and take. This was my way of just saying Thank you. To all of you, I couldn’t have made it without you patronizing my services.”