Bigger! Better! SPBS Delivers Successful 5th Gala Awards Banquet
The fifth annual installment of the Sandy Point Benevolent Society Awards Banquet was a remarkable success, setting the stage for the prosperity of the reputable organization and ultimately, the people served.
The highly anticipated prestigious Banquet was held under the distinguished Patronage of the Her Excellency Ambassador Constance V. Mitcham, Esq. at Maestro's in the Bronx on Saturday September 5, 2015. The event brought together hundreds of Kittitians and Nevisians from all walks of life to celebrate under the theme "Stimulating Our Youth - Enhancing Their Future."
The annual gala has become a signature event of the Labor Day weekend festivities in New York City, where Sandy Pointers and hundreds of citizens of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis revel in the opportunity to reunite, network, and celebrate the achievements of distinguished leaders of today, as well as Principal and Scholarship winners, poised to take up the challenge of leadership in years to come. The 5th anniversary did not disappoint.
The highly anticipated event was well executed by distinguished Master of Ceremonies Mr. Tony Hadley, who traveled from Canada to ensure the timely and smooth flow of the night's jam packed program.
Once the social hour ended close to 9 pm, the aspiring soulful singer and entertainer Briannagh Dennehy rendered the national anthem of the United States of America, followed by Hansil "Richie" Buntin's rendition of the national anthem of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Founder and President of SPBS, Dr. Stewart Williams offered brief opening remarks, reminding attendees of the pride the SPBS members feel given the tremendous growth of the organization. Dr. Williams is doubly pleased with the support of patrons and numerous partners, as well as the beneficiaries who are the real reason for the work of SPBS. He pointed to one crowning moment of achievement – that for the first time we three former Principal Award Winners seated rightfully at the head table. These include the 2000 winner and guest speaker, Mr. Lerone Joseph; the 2001 winner and 2015 Undergraduate Scholarship winner, Ms. Lovilla O’Flaherty; and the 2008 winner and recent graduate of CFBC, Ms. Zonique Brown. These award winners are poised to take the baton that would be passed to them with a view to continue the great mission of the SPBS. Dr. Williams remains optimistic for the future of his organization.
Vice President William V. Hodge spoke to SPBS's role in what is fast becoming an enviable scholarship program. He reminded guests that the vision of SPBS has helped to make role models of students who come through Sandy Point High School/CEMSS. He reinforced the value of the work of SPBS and the appreciation of the students who are scholarship recipients as a result of the various SPBS initiatives.
Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary Her Excellency Constance V. Mitcham, Esq., brought greetings to the very attentive audience. She expressed how honored she was to have been chosen by SPBS for such a prestigious award stating further how honored she was for the recognition bestowed on her. Ambassador Mitcham received the Distinguished Community Services and Leadership award given for being the first woman elected to national parliament in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Lisa Marie Nesbitt performed a high energy dance tribute, which was a timely prelude to the night's sumptuous dinner.
From the lustful rendition of Etta James' "At Last" by Briannagh Dennehy, to the sweet and rhythmic tunes belted out by Richie Buntin, the night's live entertainment was truly classy and well received by patrons.
The highlight of the event was certainly the youthful and highly accomplished keynote speaker, Mr. Lerone Joseph. A native of Sandy Point, Joseph has blossomed into a success story under the watch of the SPBS. His story is a testimony to the relevance of SPBS. Since graduating top of his Sandy Point Primary School class of 2000 and subsequently being named the SPBS principal's Award winner, Joseph has not looked back! Still a few years shy of his 30th birthday, he has already earned his Bachelors with a double major in Sociology and Criminology and a Mathematics minor. He has his Masters in Criminal Justice and aspires to complete a PhD in Criminology to serve as a University professor.
Mr. Joseph is a believer in hard work and education. During his well-crafted speech on Saturday night, he lauded education as a priceless gift. "Education is a well-balanced meal that nourishes you internally and externally and is a powerful way to remove poverty and inequality." He further suggested that, "Education promotes equality, offering everyone the same opportunity to be successful in life."
Mr. Joseph regarded all stakeholders, including government and the private sector, as integral links to the success of education.
The parent and teacher relationship is very unique and Joseph describes it as the second most important relationship outside of the nurturing provided by parents and guardians.
Mr. Joseph reminded all that education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world, impressing on his attentive guests the importance of learning what you can, going for your goals and achieving them.
A rousing round of applause from the audience as he ended his speech was indicative of the appreciation for Mr. Joseph and his commitment to changing the world, one opportunity at a time
The presentation of awards to the distinguished honorees followed and they included Distinguished Alumnus & Leadership awards to Mr. Alrick V. Warner, and ACP Ian M. Queeley. Pastor Clive C. Saunders received the Alumnus and Community Service while the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Society was realized for its Distinguished Community Services.
Mr. William V. Hodge expressed sincere appreciation to the honorees for their unselfish commitment to the service of others.
Door prizes, raffle winners and other announcements were disclosed as the formal aspect of the evening drew close to an end.
Live musical entertainment by popular DJ Lincoln Bass kept the celebrants on their feet until the curtains came down on the event shortly after 2 am.
The success of the SPBS Awards Banquet is a result of genuine commitment to a cause that positively impacts and molds many young lives. This is no time to slow down; not when countless opportunities to serve others are unveiled each year.
The SPBS team is committed to ensuring that the students, teachers and nearby communities served by the CEMSS continue to reap the benefits of their philanthropy. This is a most noble commitment; one that its members do not take lightly.
The SPBS journey continues and our nation will be richer for it.
Kudos to the SPBS!