May 10, 2008 — Panama hats, Guayabera shirts and a mojito or two will bring the flavor of another, rather larger Caribbean island to the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce 2008 Annual Awards Banquet on May 31 at the St. Peter Greathouse.
Chamber President Joe Aubain this week announced this year's honorees for several awards including the Wilbur "Bill" LaMotta Community Service Award, the Student Achievement Award and the Award for Design Excellence.
The LaMotta Award was established in 1983 to recognize the outstanding contributions of public and private citizens. The award is given to people who exhibit LaMotta's dedication, sincerity, forthrightness and ethics in the practice of their businesses or professions. Prior to his death in 1980, LaMotta, a civic leader and renowned Caribbean composer and musician , was president of the chamber.
This year's recipient for the LaMotta Community Service Award from the private sector are Cassan Pancham, FirstBank Eastern Caribbean Region executive vice president; and Stanley Selengut, Maho Bay Camps, Inc. president.
The pubic sector recipient is John Jowers, former executive director of the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts.
In 1999, the chamber's board decided to recognize an individual involved in the leadership of a non-profit or charitable organization. Dee Baecher-Brown, Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands president, is this years honoree.
The Award for Design Excellence was established in 1999 to recognize an individual or corporation's capital investment in the territory which demonstrates outstanding achievement in quality design, improvement to the environment, commitment to the community and economic growth.
This year's recipients are Richard H. Driehaus and the V.I. Government for the renovations to the Franklin D. Roosevelt V.I. Veterans Memorial Park.
The Student Achievement Award was established in 1992 to honor students who have made their school a better place through student government, extra curricular activities and academic excellence. This year's recipient is Ludence A. Romney Jr., a Charlotte Amalie High School junior who is the Future Business Leaders of America V.I. State Membership vice president.
Chamber President Joe Aubain said Saturday that the "Havana Nights" theme seemed a natural. "Each year we try to create a theme to work our decorations around," Aubain said. "And right about that time, Fidel Castro stepped down."
The celebration will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a champagne toast and cocktail reception. Dinner will follow. Tickets are $125 per person and include an open bar and free shuttle service from the Joseph Sibilly Elementary School parking lot. Call the Chamber at 776-0100.
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