There was an outpouring of praise for the team of doctors and volunteers of Health and Educational Relief For Guyana (HERG), by many supporters who came out to celebrate the organization’s 10th year of medical missions to Guyana.
The recent Fourth Awards Gala at Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadow, to honor the occasion, showed video clips, a testament to the extraordinary service that is extended to the thousands of citizens, who otherwise would have died or left deformed.
In a salute to members, Ambassador Bayney Karran called their feat a significant milestone, adding, “It paves the way for your growth and development to join that select band of Guyanese Diaspora organizations, whose lifetime has extended beyond a decade.
“We also admire and support the work you are doing for our brothers and sisters elsewhere in the Caribbean, particularly those in Haiti in their hour of difficulty.
“Your 10 years are indicative of the dedication, steadfastness and patriotism of your membership. It is by virtue of this kind of commitment that you would be able to continue to make a difference in the lives of our less fortunate compatriots. This was evident during your educational program in March and your medical mission in August of this year,” he added.
Karran noted that HERG sets an example for others who wish to make a contribution to the homeland but don’t know how to go about it. “ I wish to commend you and thank you wholeheartedly for your efforts.
He also lauded the award recipients and called them outstanding members of ‘our community who are being awarded for their caring, their humanity and their contributions.’ “I would like to express my sincerest congratulations to each of you,” he said.
Founding members of HERG, Collie Oudkirk, MD and Wayne Sampson, MD were presented with the New York Senator Award from Senator John Sampson and the Congressional Award from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, which were handed over by Kenrick Cort MBA and Michelle Van, MD, respectively.
Ms. Olga Hamblin was honored with the HERG Award, presented by Jacqueline Gulstone, PhD, while Linden Morrison MPA MSc won the New York Mathieu Eugene City Council Award, which was presented by James Richmond, who later wowed the audience with his inspirational poem “Down the Essequibo River.”
And in his eloquence as Emcee, WBAI “Talk Back” host Hugh Hamilton, reminded the audience of the significant contribution that HERG had made in the lives of 20,000 people, in six countries.
He also noted that that was a big deal ‘in this hard guava season’ an expression used by Guyanese to describe hardship.
Patrons listened attentively as Adrian Tyndall, MD, greeted guests before talented young soprano singer Keva Wegman rendered the national anthems of Guyana and the United States. Pastor Errol Lewis, RN in turn blessed the evening’s proceedings.
President of HERG John E. Mitchell, in his vote of thanks, acknowledged the exceptional work members and volunteers had done over the years, and thanked donors for their continued support.
Mitchell praised the awardees by saying “as we celebrate these individuals, let us use their example as a guiding light for each of us. For those who already volunteer, let us remember that the act is first and foremost to serve those less fortunate.
“Our joy and pleasure is derived from the act of service. For those who do not, we encourage you to experience the satisfaction of serving others,” he concluded.