Our Warmest Gratitude to all who contributed to the success of Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.’s Scholarship and Fundraising Gala on Saturday, November 21, 2015.
The room was filled to capacity as parents, students, public officials, community members, honorees, their friends and families assembled at the Merrick Golf Club House to celebrate the Supportive Spirits of our honorees and the Creative Spirits the Creative Arts Contest participants. As the spirits of volunteerism and support were embraced and celebrated, so were the respective voices of Long Island’s youth through their Creatively Empowering expressions.
There was something for everyone. The spiritually-focused who, as a rule, embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of others were well fed, as was the curiosity of the creative-minded! Warm gratitude must be extended to County Executive Mangano for recognizing our honorees with a citation presented to them on his behalf by his Deputy County Executive, Dr. Phillip Elliott, who in the capacity of an ordained minister, offered the invocation for the evening. Also on hand with citations, was Councilwoman Viviana Russell of the Town of North Hempstead. Town of Hempstead Councilwoman, Dorothy Goosby, provided a creatively designed citation to the organization which was very much in line with the way we encourage our youth to use their talents to meaningfully express themselves. We thank the Town of Hempstead Parks and Recreation Department for graciously hosting us, and appreciate the unwavering support and involvement of community organizations, businesses and individuals who stood out this time.
Thank you is in order to Mr. and Mrs. Desmond Morrison and Ms. Geraldine Gooding for traveling all the way from Maryland to support us, the Art League of Long Island, Colonial Flower Shop, and Havana Central. A special thank you goes out to our honorees (E. Vivienne Anderson, Florence Bell, Dr. John Clarke, Marjorie Whigham-Desir, Michael Desir, Alicia Figueras, Presiding Officer Duwayne Gregory, Terri Hall, Gail King, Zellin Lowe, Diane Lucas, Esq., Anita Marco, Felicia Serrette, Dr. Lizette Wright-Polk), without whom the evening would simply not have materialized had they not accepted our request to honor them for the role they have played in our quest to empower and embrace 21st Century youth in our own unique way. Ms. Cognac Wellerlane’s role in providing media coverage for the event has not been taken lightly, and neither has the task of our professional photographer, Frank Fontana of Fontana Studios in Merrick, the Print Cafe of Lynbrook for our printing needs, Tim Dorsey for providing music and Florence Bell for the beautifully set tables. Special thanks also are expressed to Mrs. Janet Gooding and Claudestine Williams-Tucker for their volunteer and community service assistance respectively with preparations for the event, and to Peer Leader Marie Saint-Cyr for gracing the event with her refreshing art work and for taking on the responsibility of greeting our guests at the registration table, Evynn McFall for onsite coordination, and last but by no means least, our Masters of Ceremony Shelly Cohen and Gregory Singer for their role in moving the program along.
Rumor has it that the multi-ethnic culinary delights were well received by our guests! Bravo to all who came on board to make this happen, including The Island By The Sea Jamaican Restaurant of 300 Wellwood Avenue, Freeport, New York – our Primary Restaurant Food Sponsor. Havana Central from Roosevelt Field, the Imperial Diner of Merrick Road, Freeport, New York; and Ayhan’s Mediterranean Restaurant on Sunrise Highway in Baldwin also consented to participate. The labor of love of volunteers who prepared Sierra Leonean, Dominican and Southern culinary delights will never be forgotten. We are truly grateful for their help.
The stage was set, and the message was clear as Malachi Aarons join his brother Melchizedek Aarons (our 12 grade category 2014/15 Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Winner) to creatively express the art of collaboration through the saxophone and keyboard; Sisters, Brianna and Jasmine Gobourne, ministered in dance to honor their grandmother; the volunteer mother and son team of Marjorie Desir and Michael Desir that brought to light the axiom “if you show them, they will learn”. Also featured were the expressions of Contest first runner up, Glorieanne Quiban, who expressed her concern for the 21st century youth though her “Fighting for the Same Thing Now and Then” digital illustration which illustrates how nothing has changed since the 60’s when Black folks fought for their civil rights; and Malaika foster, who in poem, told us how the world we create affects her and her peers in a manner that calls for change through self-empowerment. The visual art work “Deja Vu” of Dany Mazariegos symbolizes hope and faith – “the ability to persevere in the outside world’s negativity.” On her topic of choice, “The Broken Self Esteem”, the voice of Jhalisa Bayer was heard loudly and clearly through the summary of her winning entry in the visual arts category in which she talks about the damaging effects of the broken self esteem.
The 2014/15 Creative Empowerment winners are as follows: Malaika Foster – Elmont Memorial High School, 10th Grade Winner (Poem) ~ Jhalisa Bayer – Wyandanch Memorial High School, 11th Grade -Visual Arts Winner: pen, broken mirror pieces, hot glue, acrylic ~ Glorieanne Quiban – Farmingdale High School, 11th Grade – Visual Arts Runner Up: Digital Illustration ~ Dany Mazariegos – Wyandanch Memorial High School, 11th Grade -Visual Arts 2nd Runner Up: Drawing ~ Melchizedek Aarons – Wyandanch High School Graduate 12th Grade Winner – Music: Jazz – Saxophone.
The evening wrapped up with a “surprise” presentation to Mr. James Lacy, the organization’s Program Director. The well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Supporter-In-Chief Integrity Award was presented to him as he was ministered to in dance and poetry by Liturgical Dancer Florence Bell in a public acknowledgement of the extraordinary support he has offered the organization in good health as well as in the wake of health challenges that take “in sickness and in health” to a whole new level.
Your Time for Creative Empowerment is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of the arts, fashion and culture as mechanisms to:
* Improve interpersonal relationships
* Avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century
* Specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving
* Enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.
Thank you Marjorie. Don’t be fooled – It is the ability and willingness to recognize and appreciate the true essence of service by volunteers such as yourself and Michael, that keep things going. It is our hope for the new year that more like-minded people will come on board to take Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. to higher heights. Your contribution to that evening was simply stellar!