As the popular Internet-based group VincyCares, Inc. recently held its gala 6th Annual Dinner / Dance and Awards Ceremony in Brooklyn, its role in making a significant difference in the lives of needy Vincentian students was put into better focus.
The group, which is only six years old, showed slides and featured the progression of students, who, over the years, have benefited from the Victoria Sutherland Scholarship Fund.
The fund was established to “assist less fortunate children who exhibit potential in academics, sports or the arts, but face financial challenges that may prevent them from achieving a secondary education,” said VincyCares, Inc. in a statement in the souvenir journal that was distributed to patrons at the sell-out event at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center.
Since its formation in November 2009, VincyCares, Inc. — which is currently led by the Brooklyn-based community advocate, graphic artiste and restauranteur Franklyn “Supadex” Richards — has facilitated nine scholarships for secondary school children in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The group has, among other things, also provided school supplies, collected at fundraising drives in Brooklyn, to all 59 elementary schools in the nation.
“On behalf of the children of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we extend sincere thanks and appreciation for your continued help throughout our six-year existence,” Richards said. “Thanks for helping us to distribute school supplies island-wide three times; thanks for allowing us to sponsor nine active full-time scholarships; thanks for helping us to provide the mentorships possible to ensure that these children succeed.
“We also say thanks to all of the private donors of scholarship who see it in their hearts the need to help, to change the life of a child in need,” he added.
“Thanks to the businesses which reached out in the past, and continue to reach out to us — whether in the form of donations or taking ads in our yearly journal. We say thank you.
“As we work in harmony to make this world a better place for our children, I pray that our hearts be open; and whatever positive energy we can generate, may, hopefully, create a spark that can lit the fire that will burn out the negative energies of our generation and replace it with love,” Richards continued.
He said his group hopes to award additional scholarships in forthcoming years from fund-raising events and from “generous supporters” in the Diaspora.
This year, VincyCares, Inc. awarded scholarships to two additional recipients, Mary Ann Woods and Rosique Toney.
Woods, who attended the Pamelus Burke Primary School, entered the Girls High School in September.
Toney, who entered the Thomas Saunders Secondary School, also in September, came from the Richland Park Primary School.
Other scholarship recipients: Phileen Cambridge, formerly of the Petersville Primary School, is a Form 2 student at the Girls High School. Her donor is Vince Matthews. Giovanni Lewis is in Form 3 at the Boys Grammar School. His primary school was the Bequia Anglican. Rickeisha Glasgow is a Form 3 student at the Girls High School. Her primary school was the Calliaqua Anglican, and her donor is Anita Botti.
Gail Ann Pierre is a Form 4 student at the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown. Her primary school was St. Mary’s Roman Catholic; donor is Sara Toyloy.
Tyricia Samuel is a Form 4 student at the Girls High School, who had attended the Chateaubelair Methodist School. Nieasha Richards, originally from the Belair Government School, is currently a Form 4 student at the Girls High School.
A former Sandy Bay Primary School student, Sutherland currently attends the Georgetown Technical Institute.