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26 honored at 2016 Caribbean Impact Awards

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Community News Group president and publisher Jennifer Goodstein starts the ceremony.
Award-winnning Caribbean Life journalist Nelson A. King was master of ceremonies for the gala.
A flyer for the 2016 Caribbean Impact Awards, which was sponsored by Emigrant Mortgage.
Honoree Michelle DeSouza Forte and her brother-in-law and fellow honoree Rev. Damian McIntosh with friends and family at their table.
Honoree Khari Edwards, right, stands with his girlfriend. He is the first vice president of color at Brookdale Hospital.
Motivational speaker Dennis Rahiim Watson dons a colorful garment at the gala.
Honoree Marlon Peterson smiles with his girlfriend at the ceremony.
Ralph D’Onofrio, vice president of advertising at Community News Group, right, poses with an issue of Caribbean Life newspaper with the gala DJ.
Honoree E. Wayne McDonald, actor and director of Caribbean Cultural Theatre.
Darnell Benoit, a Caribbean Impact Award honoree, and founder of Flanbwayan Haitian Literacy Project, chats with friends and family at her table.
Haitian-American honoree Nadia Dieudonne is part of the sole Haitian dance troupe for the West Indian Day junior carnival parade.
Community News Group staffers Miriam Nieto, Jennifer Stern, Cynthia Soto, Pearl Beatrice, and Carol Magluilo at the Caribbean Impact Awards in Gravesend on Nov. 17.
A server takes time for quick smile during the gala’s cocktail hour.
St. Vincent-born honoree Roxanne Joseph serves the East Flatbush community as a detective in the 67th Precinct.
Honoree Pastor Anthony Quintyne is a Barbadian-born founder of Enduring Faith Ministries, a non-denominational church.
Rahiim Watson entertains the audience.
Honoree Michael Lambert walks up to receive his award.
Honoree Rev. Dionne P. Boissere speaks to guests after recieving her Caribbean Impact Award.
From left, Amanda Tarley, classified director at Community News Group; honoree Cindy Similien-Johnson, founder of Goal Chic; and Caribbean Life journalist Nelson A. King.
Honoree Patrick Buddington, Jamaican-American founder and CEO of IMC Media Group, poses with his award.
Honoree Sharon Haynes, an advocate for education and a teacher at PS 268, speaks to the audience.
Haitian-American broadcaster and director at Brooklyn-based Haitian station Radio Soleil Ricot Dupuy, center, poses with his award.
Award presenters Angela Cooper, left, and Nelson A. King make a joke during the ceremony.
Honoree Andrew Walcott, center, founder of Fusion East, poses with his award with presenters Angela Copper and Nelson A. King.
Rev. Terry Lee talks to guests after receiving his Caribbean Impact Award. The Jamaican-born reverend heads By Ways and Hedges Youth Ministry.
Trinidadian-American honoree Lindiwe Kamau is president of Nostrand Avenue Merchants Association and a ceramic arts instructor.
Award honoree Rev. Damian Mcintosh has fun with his daughters at the gala.
Caribbean Impact award honoree Tai Abrams is founder and CEO of AdmissionSquad, Inc.
Dozens of guests packed the house to celebrate the contributions of the honorees.
Honoree Judith Lovell, who is of Trinidadian and Jamaican descent, talks with guests as she accepts her Caribbean Impact Award.
Caribbean Impact Award honoree Rev R. Simone Lord with grandson Matthew at their table.
Honoree Jolander Headley, center, founder and CEO of Joe’s Music Store and Joe’s Music Center and Performing Arts Inc., with her award in hand.
Honoree Dr. Joan Grant-Boyd, right, is presented an award.
A young guest cheeses for the camera.
A guest reads about the honorees in Caribbean Life.
A set of honorees laugh as they are being introduced to the crowd about their achievements.

They were the most impactful.

The second annual Caribbean Impact Awards honored 26 persons this year, men, women, young, and old, hailing from all over the Caribbean at Paradise Caterers in Gravesend on Nov. 17. The ceremony honors Caribbean Americans who are influential forces in their communities and recognizes their standout hard work.

Many of the honorees held various titles, from chefs, church leaders, educators, and entrepreneurs came with their friends and family to accept their honors. One honoree was thrilled about his nomination and said the award recognized more than his business skills but the neighborhood he serves.

“I want to thank Caribbean Life for this great honor and not for a second do I think they’re just honoring me,” said Andrew Walcott, founder and CEO of Fusion East. “I think they‘re honoring what we’re doing in the East New York community.”

Motivational speaker Dennis Rahiim Watson, who presented a humorous quote-along on Caribbean motherhood, said the audience was very receptive to his presentation, which displayed the universal upbringing many Caribbean parents raise their children on.

“I try to bring a basic message and it was nice to see people, especially young folks laughing,” said Watson, who is of Bermudian descent. “It is the number one priority in America for Caribbean people to be recognized, but outside of music we don’t get recognized often.”

The Caribbean Impact Awards celebrate Caribbean-born and Americans of Caribbean descent who are not only achieving greatness in their professions, but also giving back to their community, said associate publisher Ralph D’Onofrio.

Caribbean Life is more than just a newspaper, it is an organization which encourages Caribbean-Americans to strive to their best potential said master of ceremony and award-winning Caribbean Life journalist, Nelson A. King.

“Sometimes people work hard and no one remembers them,” he said. “We are different from other publications because the paper is not just about a business — the paper cares about the community and the people, and it encourages others to keep working because they’ll know somebody is looking.”

With their loved ones celebrating with them, King said the support shown to the honorees means more award ceremonies to come.

“The audience were very fantastic and bubbling with enthusiasm,” he said. “There was no sign of boredom — they wanted to be there and really celebrating and that’s a good sign for Caribbean Life and the impact awards.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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