The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale hosts Sixth annual golf tournament & scholarship luncheon
Burford, Davis, Holmes and Wright
By Charles Moseley
Master of Ceremony Wendell Ford, the host of the WEDR/99 JAMZ Radio’s “Inspirationally Yours” Sunday Morning Gospel Show, set the tone for the afternoon, at the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s Sixth Annual Golf Tournament & Scholarship Luncheon. Ford opened the ceremony by greeting the audience with the following quote by Abolitionist Frederick Douglas.
“It is easier to build strong children, than to rebuild broken men.”
The 100 Black Men of America was founded in Washington, D. C. in 1963. It has over 100 chapters internationally. The national headquarters is presently located in Atlanta, Ga. The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale has been building strong children and changing the lives of local youth ages eight-18, through their Leadership Academy; a non-profit, completely volunteer mentoring program, since 2004.
The organization’s major fundraiser was held on June 11, at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, Fla. It featured 11 returning graduates of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale Leadership Academy, presently receiving scholarships while enrolled in college and four of the graduating class for 2016 scheduled to begin their college careers in the fall.
Dennis Wright has been President of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale since 2005. He outlined the significance of supporting young Black males in today’s society and why organizations such as this need to be supported.
“I think it’s important for organizations such as the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale and other organizations that are modeled in the same fashion to exist in our community because we must show as Black men that we are strong in our communities and these young men need to that as an example. We need to lead by example.”
“We need to be present and that’s what this organization is all about. We are a consistent presence in the lives of these young men which so many times our communities and certain circumstances in our community take us away from our com-munity and we’re fighting against that as well but we’re also fighting to let these young men know that they have a shot to be successful in their community and all they need to do is follow us we’ll lead them and do the things they need to be successful to become a positive fabric in their community,” Wright added.
The 100’s Leadership Academy Class of 2016 includes: Walter Holmes, a Piper High graduate planning to attend FAMU, Tallahassee, Fla.; Justin Wright, a of St. Thomas Aquinas High graduate planning to attend Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Fla.; Bryce Burford, Berean Chris-tian High, planning on attending Hampton University, Hampton, Va.; and Dijon Davis, graduate of Christi Academy, who will attend Broward College. Three of the four members of the graduating class of 2016 were present to receive their awards and shared their experience as members of the 100’s Leadership Academy. In addition 11 former Leadership Academy graduates also received their annual scholar-ship awards for continuing their studies at the collegiate level.
“The Leadership Academy has helped me understand how to live life not so much how school teaches you a curriculum based off of mathematics read-ing and comprehension. It taught me how to manage money, how to live as a young adult coming into society,” said Justin Wright, who plans on a career in sports law.
“The Leadership Academy has taught me a lot of things that I would not have learned in school and about my history. It helped me with public speak-ing. It taught me things about money and how to use it wisely and not a fool with it and taught me about self-respect and how to go about life in the public be-cause people are always looking at you differently. It taught me to be a better person and to look and act right,” said Bryce Bur-ford who intends on pursuing a career in physical therapy.
”I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot since I first joined the 100 two-and a half years ago. I’ve learned to feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd and I’ve made a lot more friends not just from my own race but I’m able to reach out to every-one,” said Walter Holmes who plans to study Environmental Science in college.
The Leadership Academy program coincides with the academic school year and is held each Saturday at Nova Southeastern University’s Huizenga School of Business, in Davie, Fla. The curriculum consists of the four pillars of study including: mentoring, education, economic development, and health & wellness.
Norvel Bethel became a mentor in 2008 and has served as the Leadership Academy Coordinator for the past five years. He typifies the spirit of each mentor who volunteers their time and effort to improve the lives of the young men on a variety of levels academically as well as socially.
“What we try to do on a weekly basis we try to come out and meet with these young men during the school year and basically give them a voice. And give them the opportunity to share their views and perspectives on what’s going on in the world, what’s going on in the community. And just giving them an outlet in many cases for them to share what they’re going through and for us as mentors to be able to give them back some guidance.”
The event took on a special meaning for Veda Coleman-Wright and husband Dennis as they witnessed their son Justin receive his scholarship award as part of the Leadership Academy’s Class of 2016. They also have a younger son, Myles, who participates as well.
“I’ve been supporting the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale for years because I believe in the principles. This is an amazing mentoring organization and they do so much to help our young men. They set that foundation that young men need so that they can have a successful future. They provide an open forum for these young men to come and share their thoughts their ideas anything that their going through.”
Attorney Quentin Morgan serves as the chairman of 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale Annual Golf Tournament making sure that they reach their goals annually.
“The bottom line of today’s event is to see that we provide our young Black men scholarships so that they can be successful, at the next level of their education and going forward through college and graduate and hopefully doctorate programs.”
This year’s sponsors included Ultimate Software, Accelerated Learning Solutions, Sunny.Org(Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitors & Conventions Bureau, BIMBO, The Teamsters, The Longshoreman of Dade County, D & B Tile Distributors, and the Broward Ebony Golf Club.
Harold Yarborough, President of D & B Tile Distributors made his third appearance as a sponsor of the 100 Scholarship program.
“I love the organization. It’s the future of all of our society and what the 100 Black Men do with mentoring with these young men is fabulous. I sup-port this effort to simply give back a little bit because simply put these young men are our future and that’s what we believe in. We have to give back a little bit of something.”