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IN THE SPOTLIGHT
XMAS BASH 2018 – ONE NIGHT OF NOSTALGIA
By Duane Coombs
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Excelsior High School will receive another significant boost in funds courtesy of the Excelsior Alumni Association of Florida following last weekend’s spectacularly successful annual Xmas Bash fundraiser.
Last Saturday night , December 8, 2018, the Caribbean Cultural Center in Lauderhill, Florida was abuzz with excitement as the South Florida alumni chapter hosted its annual fundraiser .
With most alumni and other party goers decked out in some permutation of the school colors, the spacious hall was transformed into a sea of gold and green. The attendance was also swelled by the imposing number of members of the Class of 1978, in town to celebrate their 40th in the true spirit of Excelsior.
In fact, with perfect weather and the teeming mass of hundreds of green and gold-clad patrons, all combined perfectly to turn the Caribbean Cultural Center into a little bit of Excelsior – with a verge and school spirit that almost mirrored the real thing.
Althea Robinson, the President, lauded the patrons for their support and thanked the various sponsors who helped to defray the cost of staging the annual event. She also commended alumni in the Diaspora for giving back, not only to their alma mater and community in Jamaica but also to their host communities.
She said volunteerism-a spirit we often strain to recapture- is alive and well and exemplified by the night’s honorees- Donat Grant and Bancroft Gordon -who were invited to the stage to accept their awards. Both were conferred with the Alumni Association’s Community Service Award amid a spray of splashing camera phones and popping flashes from alumni, friends and family toting cameras.
Donat Grant, along with his daughter, leads an annual volunteer dental mission to Jamaica to help attend to under-served communities in his homeland. His vision, he said, is to one day expand it to include direct service to students and others at Excelsior.
Citing Excelsior’s recent raft of successes in a cross section of disciplines, from sports to academics, Bancroft Gordon, implored his fellow alumni to continue to give back to their alma mater to help accelerate the ongoing revival at the school.
He reserved special commendation for DASH Athletics-the group of former track and field stalwarts- which is continuing to lead the resuscitation of track and field at Excelsior- and encouraged others to join the fray in lending similar assistance to the school.
Since the beginning of the year, the Excelsior Alumni Association of Florida has disbursed more than US$16, 000.00 (more than J$2 million dollars) to Excelsior High School, and affiliated organizations, to help fund an array of projects, including scholarships and a school nutrition program.
In the wake of the wildly successful Xmas Bash fundraiser in Florida, even more financial assistance is on the way.