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Optimists mark milestone

Published:Sunday | April 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Olive Wilson-Cross shows off her beige ensemble.
Fay Mallit, past president of the Optimist Club of Barbican Pines, looks attractive in her green gown at the club's 10th anniversary banquet.
Women of the Optimist Club (from second left), Gloria Walker, Gene Douglas and Jacqueline Coke-Lloyd entertain first lady of Washington, DC, Michelle Cross-Fenty (left). - Photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Keisha Shakespeare-Blackmore, Staff Reporter

The Optimist Club of Barbican Pines celebrated its 10th anniversary fund-raising banquet in fine style at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel on Friday, March 26.

The Optimist Club has reached a significant milestone and over the years has dedicated its service to helping children. It was only fitting that this year's proceeds will be used to build and equip a resource centre for the children of the Shortwood United Church Early Childhood Institute in the socially challenged Shortwood and Grants Pen communities.

As pointed out by the club the success of this project will have a significant impact on these two communities that lack critical resources which are necessary to boost early-childhood development. The project is also a key component in the Optimist Club of Barbican Pines' priority activities aimed at fulfilling the movement's international theme for 2010 - 'Soar and Shine'.

The guest speaker for the event was first lady of Washington, DC, Michelle Cross-Fenty, wife of mayor of Washington, DC, Adrian Fenty. Her choice was no coincidence as she is Jamaican by heritage and has been committed to the betterment of children.

She encouraged the all-woman group to continue doing the tremendous work it has been doing. She expressed admiration for organisations such as the Optimist Club for using meagre resources to assist children.

"This is the type of support and obligation children across the world need to accomplish all they can," said Cross-Fenty, an attorney-at-law.

During the 10 years, the club's focus was on spreading optimism to youth and establishing the Junior Optimist Octagon International Club. Three schools were awarded for the support of the Octagon programme. They were Immaculate Conception, Meadowbrook and Mona high schools.

The celebration included a four-course dinner and entertainment from Karen Smith.