The Linden Fund USA (LFU) excelled at its 20th Anniversary Dinner & Dance Awards on Saturday, Aug.10, when it honored compatriots who dedicated their time and resources to rebuilding their hometown, Linden in Guyana.
Antun’s Banquet Hall in Queens, was packed, with honorees, presented with LFU Plaques, Citations, and Certificates, in nine categories.
The Leadership, Vision and Impact Award, went to Vincent Adams, PhD., Executive Director, EPA Guyana and former president of the Linden Fund USA.
Others are: Klesha Benn, M.D Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Ned Blair, Community Activist & Queen’s Jubilee Medalist, Stephen Carryl, M.D Chair of Surgery & President, OMAT, Karen Godette, M.D Medical Director, Radiation Oncology at Emory University, and Keith Seaforth, D.D.S Founder (retired) Seaforth Family Dentistry.
The Donor Impact Award was presented to Clive & Wanji Walcott, Esq. Entrepreneur & EVP, Chief Legal Officer, Discover Financial Services, while the Youth Award went to Deon Anderson, Ph.D. LFU’S First Scholarship Winner, Head of Water Quality, Guyana Water Inc.
The Youth Development Partner Award, went to Basketball Foundations, For the Children Foundation, Linden Dream Team, and G.I.V.E. Foundation#592.
The Ituni International Association, and LB’s Social Dance Club, received the Community Partner Award.
The special Media Partner Award was presented to Caribbean Life’s Tangerine Clarke, Caribbean Power Jam’s Conversations with Lady Linda, and Caribbean Times’ Carlyle Harry, while the Business Partner Award went to Sprinter Printing Service and De Island Breeze.
Gordon Allen, Désirée Blackman, Michael Campbell, Charmaine Critchlow, Daphne Joseph Lee, Steve Henry, Audrey Lee and Dr. Ivy Mitchell, received the Dedicated Service Awards.
Certificates from the office of Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke were handed over to charter members:
They are: Sam Wright, founding chair; Geraldine Joseph-Watson, Cheryl Blair-Kijewski, Esq., Louis London, Gail Christopher-Henry, Sara McLean, Eustace “Sammy David, George Parris, Terry Gravesande, Stephen Simon, Trevor Grimes, Dr. Kelwyn, Thomas, Yvonne Jones-Hamilton, Paula Walcott-Quintin, Ernest Joseph and Cyrilene Wright.
A special Award Plaque from the organization was also presented to Chair, Paula Walcott Quintin.
Citations from the office of Brooklyn Borough President, Eric L. Adams, State Senator, Roxanne J. Persaud, and congressional certificates from Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke were presented to honorees.
Walcott-Quintin said in her message, that the 20 years were significant, but stressed much more has to be done. She encouraged her fellow “Lindeners” to pledge to first live a full life of purpose and meaning.
Adding, “the hope is that part of that meaningful existence involves reaching back to our roots, and making an impact in our homeland, especially to help our youth,” while calling on compatriots to partner with LFU, in the renewal their beloved hometown, Linden and sister communities, Coomacka, Ituni and Kwakwani.
“As we mark our 20th anniversary, we pause to celebrate those who have sustained the organization.” In the words, of Martin Luther King Jr., “We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now,” and therefore, dedicate ourselves, to greater service and to sustaining our growth for the next 20 years,” said Quintin.
The starry night of tributes hosted by Mistress of Ceremonies, Joan Casey, highlighted the incredible accomplishments LFU has achieved.
In keeping with its mission to play a leadership role in the revitalization of Region 10 Linden, and its surrounding communities, the organization forms strategic partnerships with other entities of similar interests. As such, funding for initiatives goes towards academic, social, medical, and economic development of the region.
Last year, LFU acquired a building, with a deed of gift from Habitat for Humanity Guyana, being used as a community resource for an Information and Communication Technology Hub in the catchment area of Industrial Area, Constabulary Compound, and Central Mackenzie.
As part of its educational thrust, LFU and “For the Children Sake Foundation” are long-term partners in providing skills training and broad-based public health programs, directed by and targeted especially to youths.
Fulfilling its mission of helping youths to achieve academic success are several annual School Readiness projects conducted with multiple partners. These projects provide hundreds of students from pre-school to high school, with critically needed supplies at the start of the school year.
The organization’s fundraising activities, such as the Spring Dance, Breakfast Social, and Family Fun Day, held in the U.S., also play a big part in its charity drive.
Sam Wright, whose idea it was to launch the LFU USA 501 © (3) non-profit in September 1999 to benefit his hometown, collaborates with chapters in New Jersey, DC Metro area, and Georgia.
Over the years, Dr. Vincent Adams, Rev. Dr. Michael Clarke, and Mr. Keith Semple, have served as board chairs.
In Guyana: lfuGu