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Honoring Excellence!

Source: (The St. Kitts and Nevis Graduates Soccer Club)
The St. Kitts and Nevis Graduates Soccer Club hosted their tenth anniversary Gala and Awards ceremony at the Eastwood Manor in the Bronx, New York on Saturday May 3rd 2014 from. 9pm to 2am. The Gala, dubbed “Honoring Excellence,” was a twofold celebration as it was a rare opportunity for citizens abroad to celebrate the accomplishments of our nation’s blossoming footballers residing overseas and to applaud those committed to the continuity of the popular sport.

Guests arrived shortly after 9pm and were treated to a variety of dainty dining treats, beverages and alcoholic blends.

The night’s hostesses, the charming and talented Ms. St. Kitts-Nevis International Stacey Greene and Green Valley Global’s Public Relations Officer, T. C. Phipps-Benjamin welcomed all in attendance and lauded the Graduates Soccer Club for successfully attaining ten years as a soccer focused organization.

Reverend P. Alister Williams invoked God’s blessings on the evening’s proceedings followed by the lustily rendered national anthems of St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States of America by Ms. Sherisma Liburd.

A brief moment of silence in honor of Christopher Dasent and Ira (Rockers) Wilkes, two deceased renowned football brothers, marked the somber point for the evening,

Before the guests indulged in the delectable choices of food prepared for their palates, Ambassador Jacinth Henry-Martin placed her signature remarks on record in support of the work of the St. Kitts-Nevis Graduates Soccer Club. She expressed her delight in being invited to offer words of encouragement to the young soccer players and was pleased to work alongside the organizers of the annual event. She also extended heartfelt commendations to the organization for enduring the countless odds it has as an organization to attain ten successful years of impacting the world of soccer and changing young lives in the process.

Once dinner was served and the socializing and light chatter subsided, the spotlight was turned onto the evening’s featured speaker Ms. V. Sherry Tross.

The Nevisian born diplomat who was confirmed as Executive Secretary for Integral Development at the Organization of American States (OAS) in February 2013 has a stellar record of accomplishments and she was an excellent choice for Saturday’ event. Ms. Tross expressed her sincere gratitude for the invitation to speak at an event where she could encourage others to persevere to achieve their specific goals. She emphasized that life has its challenges and despite these obstacles and probably because of them, we still MUST move forward. Ms. Tross impressed upon the guests that our various life experiences come out of personal sacrifices. As long as we epitomize perseverance, our life’s challenges can be turned into remarkable success stories.

She reminded the young soccer players that football is about more than just one thing! It requires teamwork, strategic thinking and leadership; all significant values that can be taken anywhere. She challenged the young players to position themselves to take advantage of opportunity. Whatever it may take we ought to go after opportunity. In fact, she stated candidly, “Opportunity is NOT A ZIP CODE!” Do not be confined to a box. The whole world is a stage. “Turn negative perceptions into success, develop support systems, and remain surrounded by people who share your goals.”

Tross’s timely speech ended with reference to the timeless quote by the great poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight but they while their companions slept were toiling upwards through the night.” A fitting reminder that in life, nothing worthwhile accomplishing will necessarily come easily. We must be prepared to work hard!

As head of the Hemispheric Organization’s development programs, V. Sherry Tross manages a comprehensive portfolio of technical assistance and cooperation programs designed to build human and institutional capacity, strengthen competitiveness, and spur innovation and sustainable growth. Tross simultaneously serves as Director General of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (IACD). Ms. Tross has provided consulting services for government agencies and private companies and has been a speaker and commentator at public fora on a range of economic development and security topics. Ms. Tross is a remarkable achiever and also one of our federation’s towering diplomats abroad. She is unquestionably one of our nation’s prized treasures.

Ambassador Henry-Martin presented Ms. Tross with a plaque on behalf of the Soccer Graduates, in honor of her accomplishments. Stacey Greene, Ms. St. Kitts International, presented special bouquets on the organization’s behalf to Ambassador Henry-Martin as well as Ms. Hyacinth Chiverton for her hard work and dedication to the St. Kitts and Nevis-Soccer Graduates.

Door prizes were awarded to six individuals and one winner took home a pot of cash of a winner take all dollar-a-chance raffle.

Pat Roberts sought to encourage individuals to support the organization and sport of soccer in general by placing a card with the word soccer under one chair at each table. Whoever won the card was asked to donate a ball to the soccer association or turn over the card to an individual at their table who they thought fit to make a contribution of any kind to soccer. The winners were given the centerpieces of beautifully designed black and white balloons.

The curtains came down on the night’s proceedings with closing remarks by President Plumb Warner who expressed his sincere appreciation of all citizens who continue to support the work of the organization that he leads. He anticipates the continued support of citizens in the Diaspora and at home in ensuring the sport continues to grow.

Saturday night’s event was undoubtedly a resounding success.

Guests danced into the wee hours of the morning to music provided by L.A.M. sounds.

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