Central Brooklyn Lions Club, Inc. Saturday night honored five outstanding community figures during its 30th anniversary gala celebration at Sirico’s Caterers on 13th Avenue in Brooklyn.
The honorees were: Boys and Girls High School Principal Grecian Harrison-Walker, Haitian American United for Progress (HAUP) president Johanne Jacques, United Vincie Cultural Group of Brooklyn (UVCGB) president Dr. Roxie Irish, Crown Heights Youth Collective founder Richard Greene and Haitian-born NYPD officer Joseph Jaquet.
The club also presented Lifetime Member awards to Ingrid Andrews-Campbell, Marjorie Walters, Beverley Campbell, Benita Malloy and Barbara Moody.
Majorie Walters and Jerusha Jacobs received the Melvin Jones Award; Pauline Wallace (posthumously) and Linda Brown received the received the Alexander T. Wells Award; Benita Malloy and Faye Carter received the Robert Uplinger Award; Ernestine Harrison received the Knights of the Blind Award; and Melissa Knight was awarded Lion of the Year.
“Congratulations to all the honorees and Central Brooklyn life members,” said the club’s Jamaican-born president Jerusha Jacobs in her remarks. “We wish each one of you continued success in your future endeavors.”
Harrison-Walker said it was “an honor to stand before you.
“What I learned from my mother is that service matters,” she told patrons.
Referring to her biography, Dr. Irish said she did not want to be famous, “I want to be effective.
“I don’t belong to the Lions Club but to the tribe of Judah,” he added. “I congratulate you on your anniversary, and I pray good things for the Central Brooklyn Lions Club.”
Officer Jaquet said, he, too, was “honored and humbled” to receive the award; Jacques said the award was not about her “but about the community;” and Greene said he “just wanted young people to see success.”
As a proud Brooklyn native and former Bedford Stuyvesant resident, Harrison-Walker said she “remained committed to building on the progress and continuing to improve student achievement at Boys and Girls High School.”
She said she has been dedicated to working with students, families and the community to strengthen the school and give all of their students the education they need to succeed in their post-secondary studies and/or career path.
Jacques, a native of Haiti, has lived in the United states for over 20 years.
As community worker, she said she started as a volunteer HAUP, which provides services for immigrants and gets them settled into New York City communities.
Dr. Irish, a born again Christian and former national netball star in her native St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in 2003, founded UVCGB.
She said the Brooklyn-based group is “committed to providing medical supplies and other charitable donations to the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
UVCGB also provides donations and/or support to other nations in times of disaster or severe crisis.
The group has conducted four medical mission trips to date.
Green, who was born in Tela, Honduras, said he migrated to the United States when he was nine years old.
In 1977, after completing graduate school, Greene said he continued his efforts for the betterment of the youth, by setting up a volunteer education and recreation program in the Vanderveer Houses in Brooklyn.
This led to his present involvement with the youth in the community, where in 1978, he founded the Crown Heights Youth Collective.
Since the inception of this multi-dimensional youth development program, Greene said over 50,000 youth have been provided with better opportunities through one or more of its programs.