By Charles Moseley
The 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale (100 BMOGFL), held its 9th Annual Golf Tournament & Scholarship Luncheon on Saturday, June 22nd at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac, Florida.
The charity event provided $21 thousand dollars in scholarship funding to recent and former graduates of its Leadership Academy mentoring program. The 100 BMOGFL has raised over $100,000 in scholarship funds over the past 13 years.
The 100 BMOGFL was founded in 2003 and is one of 116 global chapters affiliated with the 100 Black Men of America. Dennis Wright assumed the mantle as chapter president in 2005.
The event was filled with emotions as well as a plethora of good will, primarily due to current chapter President Dennis Wright, who announced that he would be stepping down after 14 years of dedicated service. He addressed an audience of well-wishers including most notably his wife Veda, sons Justin and Myles and his Mother Mae. The outgoing president shared a brief moment outlining his sentiments.
“Today means a lot to me because it brings everything together. Today, we’re honoring and recognizing young men that are continuing their education in college or trade school to better themselves professionally, to better themselves as men, and to and to better themselves as people in the community. So, this is a very special day for me,” said Wright.
President Wright’s family members also shared the significance of the moment from their personal perspective.
Wright family matriarch Mae Wright could hardly contain her emotions, beaming with pride over her son.
“I am extremely proud. I think he has done a wonderful job. He loves the community and is very interested in the progress of the community. He has really used his talents to help the community we love.”
Dennis and Veda Wright have known each other since they were teenagers. They have been married some 25 years. Veda Coleman-Wright expressed her sentiments during the moment.
“Today is a celebration of achievements and time to catchup with what the mentees have accomplished in the last year. The golf tournament/scholarship luncheon is so important because we’re raising money for a worthy cause, the educational future of these young men. Today is also bittersweet. Even though this is the last luncheon where Dennis Wright will serve as president, his commitment to this great organization and the mentees will certainly continue.”
The Wright family also includes their two sons, Justin 21 and Myles 19. Both are Leadership Academy graduates and both attend the Florida Institute of Technology in addition to playing football at the university. The younger Wright interjected what the occasion meant to him.
“Today, we’re just trying to celebrate everything my father has done as president of this organization as well as honoring all the collegiate mentees as they take the next step in the educational process.”
Board Member and Chair-man of the Membership Committee Tony Robinson has known Wright practically all their lives. As close friends they have share a number of experiences. Robinson gave his take on what Wright has meant to him and the organization.
“He’s been absolutely amazing. Mr. Wright leaves a legacy through this chapter and this county that’s going to be left; a legacy is only left, if you’ve left one. So, he has put one in place. We have some good people that have been put in place, so we’re looking forward to it.”
Quentin Morgan is the Chairman of the golf tournament and newly elected president of the 100 BMOGFL. He set forth the vision he see’s as the organization moves forward.
“Our number one priority as an organization is to continue mentoring these young men. We are also looking to get more members in the chapter and increase the finances so we can expose the young men to more thing in different aspects of life growing up. As Black men we have the responsibility to help the next generation to help them overcome the obstacles that we had to overcome and give them some insight on life.”
One of the new facets of the organization will be the mentee mother’s women’s auxiliary being officially recognized as the 100 Black Women of Greater Fort Lauderdale.
The 2019 Leadership Academy graduating seniors were; Khalil M. Brown-North Gardens High School, Maxwell Box-J.P. Taravella High School, Drew Henderson-Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Mathew Hirsch, Jalu Rachel-South Plantation High School, Jaeden White-Coral Glades High School.
Maxwell Box will be attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University beginning with flight school this summer. His Leadership Academy experience helped prepare him for his next phase in life. “As a mentee with the 100 it showed me what a productive male in society should be doing and how to represent ourselves. And it showed that our actions not only affect ourselves but everyone else in the community.”
D & B Tile has been a major supporter of the annual event under the leadership of Harold Yarborough is President/CEO.
“This is a phenomenal organization that we’re proud to do what we can, we wish we could do more but at the end of the day it is a wonderful organization.”
Tyrone Brewster of Teamster Local 769 has been a mentor with the 100 BMOGFL since 2012 in addition to Co-chair for the golf tournament. His organization also has been a sponsor of the golf tournament and 100 BMOGFL Bike Give-Away during the holiday season. Each year at least 100 bikes are given away to deserving elementary school students throughout Broward County.
Board Member Thomas Spann summarized much of the sentiment shared by 100 mentors concerning what motivates them to do what they do to help young men.
“Number one I’m a Black father, number two I have a Black son, number three it is a more cost effective to invest in the front end rather than invest in bail when young brothers go off the track; not saying that they will, but you never know. Every time I get to meet with these young men, I feel my life has additional purpose and meaning. I heard a quote once that said,’ We earn a living with what we get but, we make a life by what we give.’