B.A.C.E Celebrates its 10th Year with a Virtual Service of Thanksgiving
On Sunday, November 8, B.A.C.E celebrated its 10th anniversary with a virtual Service of Thanksgiving that welcomed participants both locally and overseas. Community leaders delivered greetings that served to reinforce the important role of the organization. Bringing greetings were Superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, Mr. Robert Runcie; Mayor of Broward County, Dale Holness; the Hon. Neval Greenidge, Consul General of Barbados; Mr. Oliver Mair, Consul General of Jamaica, and State Representative, Dote Joseph.
The founders of B.A.C.E, Camille Edwards and Dr. Shernette Grant were recognized for their vision in setting up the organization that has granted scholarships to college-bound students every year since its inception. Dr. Grant, who introduced Miss Edwards, hailed her as the conceptualizer and force behind its establishment. Dr. Grant was the first president. Both ladies still maintain links with B.A.C.E., which now has as its president Dr. Ruth Hinkson.
Superintendent Runcie reminded the audience of his own humble beginnings and his parents’ determination to ensure that their children received a good education. He recognized that we are at a transformational point in public education and pointed to the need to embrace the changes. He spoke about the district’s model for innovation with its three primary components being; technology, flexibility in learning models and parent engagement. Runcie also mentioned the need to offer more support to teachers, so that they are seen as professionals and not merely technicians.
The service was conducted by Pastor Ian Binns, Associate Minister of Eliathah SDA Church in Ft. Lauderdale. Pastor Binns, a multi-lingual minister, aimed for inclusion as he welcomed everyone in English, Spanish and French. He noted the organization’s recognition of God’s role in every success and commended B.A.C.E for putting God first in its celebration of its 10th year.
The evening was hosted by long-standing B.A.C.E member, Shedly Casseus, and had musical selections from Samantha Grady, Rhona Gift and Omaro Tyndale. Charisse Spence, the very first recipient of a B.A.C.E scholarship returned to express her appreciation for her scholarship. She is now an engineer who wears her hard hat on site to ensure that construction projects are properly executed. B.A.C.E parent beneficiary Georgia Gayle gave a sterling testimony of the role that the organization has played in improving the overall achievements of her daughter.
B.A.C.E may owe its success and longevity to the continuing support of its founding members who continue to be involved in the organization. Past presidents and foundation members, Dr. Jackie Smith, Dr. Hermie Speckels, Dr. Audrey Robillard and Dr. Beverly Mullings presented the various speakers. Past president Emanuel Hunter delivered the invocation. Dr. Mullings, treasurer and a foundation member was surprised with a plague for her consistency and hard work over the past ten years. It was a very special evening that reaffirmed B.A.C.E’s role as a leader in providing educational and social services to the Caribbean community.