We would like to thank those persons who contributed to making a success of the V.I. Fathers March on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 and the Back to School Days of Prayer on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and September 4. Also, we want to take the time to thank those who contributed to making a success out of the V.I. Fathers Back to School Barbecue and Fun Day at Emile Griffith Park on Saturday, August 27, 2016.
We want to thank Governor Kenneth E. Mapp for issuing the proclamation for the Day of the V.I. Fathers March and Back to School Days of Prayer and urging residents of the Virgin Islands to participate in these events. The Administrator of St. Thomas and St. John Merwin Potter, gave excellent short remarks on behalf of the Governor to the persons in attendance at the Rally and the Governor’s Special Policy Adviser, Eugene Farrell read the Governor’s proclamation. We would like to thank Dr. Sharon McCollum, V.I. Commissioner of Education, for her inspiring remarks and the support of the Department of Education for our events. We look forward to working with the Department of Education during the 2016-2017 school year. Also, we wish to thank Chief of Police Jason Marsh for his remarks and for the continued support of the Virgin Islands Police Department. We also thank St. Thomas Rescue for assisting us again at the Fun Day.
We also thank our partners in the events, the V.I. Department of Human Services, My Brothers Workshop and Cafe (Scott Bradley), Little Adults Developing Into Exceptional Scholars (L.A.D.I.E.S) (Jeanine Blyden & Kanya Tirado), Parents Matter (Harriet Mercer), Sankofa Saturdays (Dara Monifah Cooper), V.I.P.D. Crime Prevention Bureau (Sgt. Bridget Conow and Officer Destin Thompson) and Fathers as Role Models (Jerae Forde and Calvert White). We did not name individuals from DHS for fear of missing someone, since they were involved in so many aspects of the events, but DHS partnered with us and sent volunteers from Head Start and their Juvenile, Social Workers and Maintenance Units.
We also want to thank all of the members of the Committee who assisted us in so many ways with the planning for the V.I. Fathers March, arranging and publicizing it, getting supplies for the Barbecue and Fun Day, and actually going to the schools on the first day to sign up the fathers. Special thanks to Dolores Todmann for helping us with the raffles, prizes and food, and for volunteering on the day of the V.I. Fathers March; Shirley Sadler for the publicity and running the kitchen for the barbecue; Archie Jennings for providing his office, assisting with publicity and volunteering for the V.I. Fathers March; and Jamaal Carroll for helping out in all aspects of the Barbecue and the V.I. Fathers March. On the Fun Day, our Master of Ceremonies Walter Brown contributed to making the event a success, and led us in prayer. Walter also helped with the PSA and signing up fathers on the day of the V.I. Fathers March. Also, thanks to Julian “Young Hawk” Jackson, Jr., for D.J duties and to Julian “the Hawk” Jackson for publicity of the event through radio and doing the PSA. Also, thanks to those who staffed the kitchen including Debbie Frazier, Maria Creque, Diamond Carter and volunteers from the V.I. Housing Authority. We could not have held the event without the assistance of Neville “Champey” Amey and the staff from Sports, Parks & Recreation. Nor can we forget the contribution of Everett and Karen, the newspaper salespeople who helped us distribute flyers to the motorists. Finally, importantly, we thank those volunteers who went to the schools on September 6, Juniyah Ras, Pastor Othniel Vanterpool, Kevin Rodriquez, Clarence Payne, Pastor Sam Weekes, Olando Donadelle and others who are mentioned above.
Congratulations go out to our honored fathers, Kashief Hamilton, Wilson Williams, Alston “Magic” Creque and Aequovieur Pennyfeather. The fact that Magic was an honoree was kept a secret to the very end. We wanted him and the other fathers to know that we appreciate everything that they do in the community, and recognize that it starts with being a good father and family man.
We want to thank Frederick Larsen, Chi-Co’s Distributing; Keiya Canton Brooks, West Indies Corporation; Barrika Thomas, Bellows International; Bill Collins, Texas Bit Barbecue; Pastor Wendell Walker, Walker’s By The Sea; Joe Thorne, Cost U Less; Omar Morales, Edy’s Ice Cream; Lou Elias, Merchant Market Group; Annette Hill-Bowring, Caribbean Food Services; Heslin Royer, Hunter Foods & Spirits and Central Cash & Carry. These community-oriented businesses and business people contributed food, beverages and vital accessories for the Fun Day. Also, we thank Ibrahim Asfour, Asfour Clothing Corp; Wendy V. Coram Vialet, Natural Doctor, Corvia Natural Healthcare Services; Dr. Leslie-Ann Williams, Healing Wings International; Rock Nutrition and Elite Nutrition for contributing raffles and door prizes.
The media also helped by getting the word out, and we thank Liston “the Commish” Davis with the Morning Mix, WVWI, Christina Chanes with WUVI radio, Sandra Goomansingh, TV2, Ulric Ferrari & Marie Henry with WGOD and Irving “Brownie” Browne with WSTA. We also thank our exhibitors USVI National Guard, Family Resource Center, V.I. Community Foundation, Rose Maduro, Face Painting, and Love City Riders. We also appreciate the services of volunteers such as Kathy Cockrell and Kim’s Kids, Mr. & Mrs. Percy Taylor, Dr. Elise Warner, Cletis G. Clendinen, III, Christian D. Clendinen and Shama Stout. Finally, we thank those who performed at the Fun Day including Tanami Calibri who played the Acoustic Guitar, Ilah Omega (“The Father’s Anthem” or “Tribute to Daddy”) and Khadeem Thomas who sang “Dance with my Father.”
We want to thank the pastors and prayer leaders of the churches in the Virgin Islands who prayed for the returning students, parents, teachers and faculty to keep them safe and successful during the school year. Special thanks to Apostle Alger Warren and Pastor Hector Lima of the Faith Christian Fellowship Church Alive in Christ who helped us with the TV 2 Broadcast publicizing the Back to School Days of Prayer and the V.I. Fathers March. Also, we want to thank the principals and administrators in the schools who assisted with the V.I. Fathers March by helping us on the first day of school.
Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank the fathers and male caregivers for participating in the V.I. Fathers March by taking their children to school beginning on the first day and pledging to be with their children throughout the school year. You have taken the first step to a stronger family and a better Virgin Islands. We all pray for a successful and fun-filled school year for all.
Sincerely, James S. Carroll
V.I. Fathers March Is Great Success
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