SPBS 7th Annual Gala: A Night of Education and Entertainment.
The Sandy Point Benevolent Society, (SPBS) continues to re-invent itself. On Saturday September 2, 2017, its members successfully hosted another prestigious Annual Gala at Maestro’s in the Bronx, under the Distinguished Patronage of the Prime Minister, Dr. The Honorable Timothy S. Harris. Proceeds from the event benefit the Charles E. Mills Secondary School, formerly known as Sandy Point High School.
This year marked the organization’s 7th anniversary Awards Gala which laud nationals for their contributions to social advancement and stewardship to their community and country.
Over 200 nationals, supporters, well-wishers and friends bore witness to the successful execution of the highly acclaimed event, appropriately dubbed, “Two Decades: The Challenges of Change.” Amidst the speeches, the camaraderie, the networking, the food, the dancing, the raffle drawing and the beautiful people was a depth of lessons about service to others, service to country and service to humanity.
SPBS President, Dr. Stewart Williams, kicked off the evening by showcasing the legacy of the organization. In particular he called on supporters such as Dr. Hanna Guishard as a beacon and visionary for the organization and presented the inaugural President’s Award to a lifetime supporter, Johnny Williams.
The night's theme was echoed by the event's Patron, Prime Minister, Dr. The Honorable Timothy S. Harris. He expressed his admiration for the work of the SPBS and shared with pride some of the accomplishments and challenges of the Government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
How does the leader of any country promote goodwill and altruism among its people? By building partnerships and human bridges and tearing down walls that isolate and divide others. The Prime Minister remarked that St. Kitts and Nevis is advancing its technological presence and has paid particular attention to women and youth advancement and is constantly pouring resources into crime prevention. Indeed, the challenges of change have prompted even the Prime Minister of our independent nation to rise to the occasion.
In recognizing the contributions of women in the arts, SPBS tapped Keynote Speaker Ms. Christene Browne, Film Maker, Lecturer and Author shared her life’s story with the audience. Ms. Browne, the first black woman to write and direct a dramatic feature film in Canada and the 2011 for Women International Film and Television Showcase Visionary Award Winner, spoke about the challenges of being different and overcoming obstacles.
SPBS presented Appreciation Awards to Mr. Stan Lewis, an Alumni, accomplished Inventor and Author whose technological work is mind blowing; yet he remains humble, generous and service driven, staying true to his community and country through all phases of his accomplishments.
Sir Hugh and Claudette Lady Rawlins were lauded for their continued civic leadership and commitment to philanthropy. Sir Hugh is a remarkable human being who continues to be humbled by the impact his generosity has on the lives of the students of the Federation. Despite the challenges of change, and likely because of them, Sir Hugh remains steadfast in his commitment to serving others.
Mrs. Enid Richardson was recognized for her outstanding contribution to education. Her son, Christopher, was on hand to accept the award on her behalf. In his remarks, he relayed his mom’s appreciation for being selected for such an award.
Mrs Venetta Henry, aka “The White Nurse,” was recognized for her service as a health care provider and also for her decades of community service as the pianist at the Sandy Point Methodist church. Her son, Samuel, represented his mom and accepted the award. Her daughter, Mrs. Jacinth Henry-Martin was also in attendance and made mention of the life’s work of her mother.
Ms. Rosie Hodge and the Children of the Caribbean Foundation ran into complications on travel to the event. They will be recognized in person next year.
What lies ahead? “While this was a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate the successes of our people, it is equally exciting to see that in 2017, we administered five (5) College Scholarships, nine (9) Principal Award Fellowships, and three (3) Warner Scholarships for a total of more than US$14,000.00,” says SPBS President & Founder, Dr. Stewart Williams. In addition, this summer SPBS donated an industrial printer and label maker to CEMSS.
SPBS wishes to thank ALL those who helped to make the event the success it was. To the entertainers, Roxanne "Roxxy" Webster, the reigning Anguilla Calypso monarch, Richie Buntin and the Warner siblings (brother and sister combination), a great BIG Thank You for a splendid performance. To the patrons and well wishers, how can we thank you enough for being present because you had options and you chose to spend the night with the Sandy Point Benevolent Society. THANK YOU.
SPBS is ready to pivot and ensure that an even more robust and exciting plan of activities are brought forward in 2018. Keep your ears close to the ground as we have already begun planning a “spectacular surprise” for our 2018 signature gala event.
Visit www.spbsinc.org periodically and be updated about our activities.