The Philadelphia Chapter of the Links Inc. presented a $17,000 check to Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, earlier this month. The presentation and reception took place at Philadelphia City Hall in the Mayor’s Reception Room. Lorraine Brown Long, chair of the international trends and services facet (committee) of the Links Inc. noted that the amount of the ceremonial check had increased.
“The idea of partnering with UNICEF Haiti made perfect sense. We are a service organization and our committee’s focus is to serve the education, health and cultural needs of people of African descent throughout the world,” Brown said. “Haiti was one of the countries that we decided to help even before the devastating earthquake in 2010. Haiti has struggled to rebuild as humanitarian aid has fallen. The Philadelphia Links wanted to make sure our fundraising efforts were going to get to the right people and selected an organization (UNICEF) that has a long history of saving and improving children’s lives,” she added.
Brown made welcoming remarks and explained that the program had a dual focus. The first was to address Haiti’s natural disasters and the second was to recognize those who had overcome monumental hardships.
The program included remarks by Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, the Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller, senior pastor, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church and Mahlene Duckett Lee extended a warm welcome to guests, members of Philadelphia’s Haitian Community and fellow members of Links Inc. on behalf of Sherilynn Johnson Kimble, president, Philadelphia Links Inc.
Councilwoman Blackwell, who represents the city’s third district in West Philadelphia, offered greetings on behalf of the entire City Council and the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. Throughout her 30-plus year career as a public servant, she has a tireless champion of the community as an advocate for the homeless and numerous initiatives for the underserved. As co-founder of the commission, Councilwoman Blackwell was instrumental in ensuring it’s the formation. She continues her commitment to the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Affairs and serves as a commissioner.
Other distinguished program participants included co-sponsors, Stanley L. Straughter, chairman of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, Honorary Consul, the Republic of Guinea; Dr. Michel M.A. Francois, president, Haitian Coalition of Philadelphia and Florcy Morisset, Board Chair of the Haitian Professionals of Philadelphia.
Loraine Brown Long introduced Morisset as a young woman who she proudly considers to be a daughter. Morisset’s remarks reflected her tremendous respect and affection for Brown as a mentor and mother figure as well as her gratitude to the Links.
Closing remarks were made by co-chair of the international trends and faucet, Mary E. Houston. “We are proud of the partnerships forged to help reduce hunger and poverty in Haiti and we will continue to join in efforts to increase educational opportunities. We also believe in the resilience of the men, women, boys and girls of Haiti and the great work of UNICEF and The Links Inc.,” Houston remarked.
Other officers serving with chapter president Sherilynn Kimble Johnson are: Stephanie Watkins, Mahlene Duckett Lee, Alexia Hudson, Catherine Broach, Deidre L. Patterson, Margaret Wright and Carol Clark Lawrence.
Other Link members serving on the international trends and serves committee are: Anne R. Frazier, Alicia Perkins, Ellen Jo Waller, Evelyn Sample-Oates, Gina Nunery, Mariska K. Bogle, Judge Patrese Tucker and Terry Dean.
The program was followed by a lovely reception in the Mayor’s Reception Room.
The Links Inc. is an international, not-for-profit corporation founded in Philadelphia in 1946. Today, the membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 274 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other people of African ancestry.
Congratulations to The Philadelphia Chapter of the Links Inc. for their outstanding service to our community.
Have a fantastic week “Out & About,” everyone!