Bru Built It, and They Came - Vindicator

Say to someone, “If you build it,” and millions worldwide will answer, “They will come.”

It’s from Kevin Costner’s fictional “Field of Dreams” — a film testament to faith in tradition and value in relationships past and present.

Bru (officially Brunilda) Turner has a sports passion also built around tradition and relationships, but it’s golf.

And she’s building her field of dreams.

And they have come — 75 kids age 5-18 from some of Youngstown’s toughest conditions.

There is no fiction about them.

Her dream fills about 10 abandoned city lots on Youngstown’s far northeast corner — Sharon Line some call it.

It’s a patch of land off Jacobs Road that time forgot, and apparently so did city street-maintenance people. When former Mayor Jay Williams envisioned turning parts of the city back to rural status, this area of Northwood Avenue was no doubt on his list.

But it’s not forgotten for Bru and her devoted family and friends.

Northwood is such a part of the Turner family, it could be named after them. Bru points to five homes where family members currently live and homes where other Turners potentially will live. When people would move from the street, they’d approach her dad, and he would often buy. The few neighbors who are not family might as well be. Bru knows as much about them.

Typical of many city neighborhoods — the remaining homes are separated by three or so lots where homes used to be. It’s returned to wild growth.

And it’s in that wild that Bru has created Northwood Golf Academy.

Seriously. “Northwood Golf Academy.”

Just hearing the name invokes thoughts of lush gardens, brick walls, wrought-iron railings and more.

“Well .... I do plan on putting up fences at some point,” Bru says with a twinkle.

You can dismiss Northwood Golf Academy as Costner-like foolishness, but only until you see the photos showing the kids who call the place home Tuesdays and Thursdays in the summer. The 2014 class starts June 18. She expects to turn away 30 or so kids.

Further proof is in the money and where it’s come from. She’s wisely spent about $90,000 to repurpose the area. The money’s come from local foundations such as Wean, Youngstown and Community; Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., PNC Bank charitable trusts and Youngstown CIRV.

Most impressive — the United States Golf Association gave her $20,000.

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