By Michelle Brown
BOYNTON BEACH/DELRAY BEACH, FLA. – January 24, 2020 – More than 400 people applauded as Board Trustees of the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum awarded three local leaders with recognition for their good works.
At the 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brunch, held on Jan. 20, Mark Reingold, Esq. was recognized for his nearly 20 years of service to the Spady Museum as a Board Trustee and legal counsel. He began his service on the museum’s advisory board that was formed before the Spady Museum opened. He credited his wife, Susan, for his involvement since she recommended that he learn more about the museum after she heard Museum Founder Vera Farrington speak in 1997.
“It’s her fault that I’m up here right now,” Reingold said. “This award belongs to all of us – Vera, Spencer Pompey, Clarence Vaughn – it belongs to everybody.”
Andrea Hudson accepted the 25-year-plus service award on behalf of her mother, Addie Lee Hudson, who was under the weather and could not attend. A longtime educator in Palm Beach County, Hudson was remembered for her work establishing the timeline and narrative that describes the pioneering Black community of Delray Beach and for her influence upon a multitude of students, including presenter Trustee Bill Whigham, who also serves as Board President.
Nadine Jones Hart, 95, accepted her award for 25+ years of service to the Spady Museum as a volunteer, founding Board Trustee and local historian, providing foundational information and work alongside Hudson.
“This is a pleasant surprise,” Hart said. “I don’t intend to stop. You’ll have to kick me out.”
The awards came after moving performances by the Core Ensemble, which spotlighted Ida B. Wells’ work during the women’s suffrage movement. Guest speaker Grace Vandecruze inspired the audience with her personal tale of resilience, following a childhood fire that claimed her family’s home and possessions, and left them struggling to begin again. Vandecruze is a CPA and financial advisor to the insurance industry with more than 20 years’ experience on Wall Street and advising on transactions totaling in excess of $5 billion. She commits herself to helping families build wealth and preparedness for life’s unexpected challenges.
“Like King, for years, I have been working to educate our community on financial literacy and wellness. After watching my home burn down at a young age and living in homeless shelters because my family did not have insurance, I knew that I wanted to work toward being educated on financial tools to living a secured life. As I have climbed out of homelessness to Mt. Everest and on the ladder to wealth and abundance, my mission is to transform the financial climate of African Americans, unleash their money power and build sustainable wealth platforms,” Vandecruze said.
After holding the Brunch in Delray Beach for 19 years, the Spady Museum leadership moved the event to Indian Spring Country Club in Boynton Beach to accommodate a larger audience. The 2020 Brunch was sold-out. 2020 event sponsors include the City of Delray Beach, Delray Beach Redevelopment Agency, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, Palm Beach County, Tourist Development Council, and Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.