Nonprofit clinic HOPE Inc. hosting 'Toast to the Heart' gala at Frenchman's Reef tonight
Published: October 19, 2013
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ST. THOMAS - To celebrate receiving its certificate of need to become a chronic disease clinic, nonprofit HOPE Inc. is hosting its inaugural gala "Toast to the Heart" at 7 tonight at Marriott's Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort.
The gala will honor organizations and residents who have made a significant impact in improving the lives of U.S. Virgin Islands visitors and residents and have represented the territory as "Good Will ambassadors."
HOPE - Helping Others in a Positive Environment - was started in 2000 as an AIDS service organization, and now it provides prevention and referral services for hypertension, diabetes, HIV and obesity.
Through HOPE's efforts, more than 3,000 residents received free health care services in 2012, and more than 12,000 people have been helped since the organization started.
Tickets to the "Toast to the Heart" are $75, and all proceeds will be put toward HOPE's newly certified chronic disease clinic.
For more information about HOPE or where to find tickets, call 777-1611.
The honorees at tonight's gala are:
- Lorna Freeman, a singer known throughout the territory who began her musical journey in the 1970s at age 7. The lead vocalist in Spectrum Band, Freeman is a graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and has a music degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta.
- 340 Boxing - Julius Jackson, John Jackson and Samuel Rogers. Julius Jackson, who also is an accomplished chef outside of the boxing ring, is 16-0 and currently is ranked 25th in the world in his weight class by the WBC. He is the son of three-time champion and Boxing Hall of Famer Julian "the Hawk" Jackson. John Jackson, also the son of Julian Jackson Sr., is known "Dah Rock" and fights in the light middleweight division and has a record of 17-1, with 14 KOs. Rogers - the "Rock City Cobra" - is Julian Jackson Sr.'s nephew and was born in Indiana, but raised in St. Thomas. Rogers, whose record stands at 14-0 with 6 KOs, is married to La'Monique Rogers, and they have two daughters, La'Nia and Sha'Nia.
- My Brother's Workshop, which was founded in 2008 as a Christian Outreach Program to help disadvantaged boys and men ages 16-24. The nonprofit organization provides vocational training, counseling and life skills by offering hands-ontraining in a simulated work environment with professional volunteers from the community. The program is certified to teach carpentry, electrical, plumbing and masonry and also encourages a strong sense of community by involving its participants in community volunteer projects to help them develop a positive outlook toward and a sense of community spirit. Since it began, My Brother's Workshop has "graduated" 205 men from its vocational program.
- Cheryl Boynes-Jackson, a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School who received her captain's license and became the first black female 100-ton ocean operator on St. John. Boynes-Jackson entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1980 and eventually became a member of the Presidential Honor Guard in Washington, D.C. Since her return to St. John, Boynes-Jackson took the helm of Boyson Inc., and she and her husband, Michael, have a son, Michael Jr., and a daughter, Chemica.
- Dr. Jerry Smith, a St. Thomas native who was honored as Athletic Trainer of the Year in 2002 while he was attending Barry University. Smith also earned the distinction of Certified Athletic Trainer from the National Athletic Trainers Association and has successfully completed the doctor of physical therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences-Institute. Smith is the owner and medical director of Therapy Works and serves as the medical director of the Virgin Islands Boxing Federation, head of physiotherapy for the USVI Track and Field Federation and director of the USVI Medical Congress and the Anti-Doping Commission.