Hawks of 1994 host Fun Day for GBCH as part of reunion activities

HHS CLASS OF 1994 – The graduating class of Hawksbill High School 1994 treated the children and staff of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH) to a fun filled day on Smith’s Point on Friday, August 9. The class also presented the children with back packs filled with school supplies as they prepare for the 2019/2020 academic school year. Standing from left to right (back row) are Dominique Kemp, Maintenance Supervisor and Bus Driver, GBCH; Tyrone Russell, HHS Class of 1994 and Deborne Rigby, Class of 1994. Pictured from left to right (front row): Hezekiah Dean, former Principal, Hawksbill High School; Denise Lewis, HHS Class of 1994; Tiffany Ellis, HHS Class of 1994; Natasha Grant; Sheila Johnson-Smith, Executive Director, GBCH and Enzy Jones, Administrative Assistant, GBCH. (PHOTO: JENNEVA RUSSELL)

As one of the activities in celebrating of their 25th Reunion, the 1994 graduating class of Hawksbill High School decided to give back to the community in a tangible way.

Members of the class held a fun day on the picturesque Smith’s Point Beach, where they invited the residents and staff of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home to lunch and an afternoon of fun filled activities. In addition, the graduating class also gifted each child with backpacks filled with school supplies, as they prepare for the upcoming academic school year.

Denise Lewis, along with fellow classmate Tiffany Ellis, coordinated the event on behalf of the ‘Mighty 1994 Hawks.’

“We invited the residents and staff of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home here to Smith’s Point for a fun filled day. We decided to treat them to lunch today and play a few games with them as well as give back to what we received, and that is education.

“We got together, collectively, as a class and got some school supplies for the kids of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home. We wanted to have a charitable event for our reunion, and we decided that the Grand Bahama Children’s Home would be the best place to donate the items,” she explained.

Questioned why the GB Children’s Home seemed to be the best organization to gift with the back to school supplies, Lewis responded, “During the time that we were putting our reunion plans together, there was a plea on ZNS and in The Freeport News, where the Children’s Home was in need of diapers and other necessary items.

“When you think about the kids that are in there, they do not have a mother or father per se and so we felt that it was our duty to step in and make sure that no child goes without an education and that they receive some of the items that they need.

“We know that the Children’s Home is a place that depends on things from the public and so, therefore, we decided to assist the kids there and make sure that they are prepared to go back to school, once school reopens in September,” added Lewis.

In conclusion, she appealed to the wider community to do the same if they are in a position to assist the Home in whatever way they can, not matter how small the donation may seem.

“I would like to make a plea to the general public to assist the Grand Bahama Children’s Home whenever they can; nothing is too small. While you are out there doing your back to school shopping, even if it is a pack of undershirts, a pack of boxers, books, whatever you can spare and afford, please take it to the Home.

“When I spoke to Mrs. (Shelia) Johnson-Smith (Executive Director, GBCH), she was most pleased when I told her what we were planning for them and I am sure that no matter what it is, no matter how small, they will  be very appreciative of it. Every little bit helps,” noted Lewis.

Former Hawksbill High School Principal Hezekiah Dean, who also attended the event said, “Whenever I meet up with or by any means hear from one of my former students, I am elated because it does, for me, say that somebody who I have touched in some way or another remembers me.

“When the young lady called me and said that she wanted me to be here, I jumped with joy inside because I felt that feeling again and I would not pass up an opportunity like this.”

He added, “I talked with her yesterday (August 8) on the phone and told her that I would be here. I made it a point to be here. It really means something for me; first of all, it is a great treat and such a charitable effort, but, particularly by a class from the great Hawksbill Senior High School at the time.

“The last alumni class event meeting that I attended, I urged them to never forget where they came from and always remember that there are always other people after you; other schools, other persons. Do something for the society that has helped you to become what you are.

“It is really a privilege to come out here today and to be with the students who are hosting this charitable event,” noted the veteran educator.

Johnson-Smith and Enzy Jones, GBCH Assistant Administrator, both agreed that it was indeed a lovely gesture for the Hawksbill High School graduating class of 1994 to invite them to Smith’s Point for the fun day.

They expressed their sincerest gratitude to the class, sharing that the school supplies will indeed go a long way to assist the children as they return to the classrooms for the 2019/2020 academic year.

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