Brooklyn Canarsie Lions celebrate 67th Annual Breakfast Fundraiser – Carib Vibe Radio

Brooklyn Canarsie Lions celebrate 67th Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

The Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club last Saturday celebrated its 67th Annual Breakfast Fundraiser at the Canarsie Ascent/Holy Family School Auditorium on Flatlands Avenue in Canarsie, Brooklyn, attracting a wide-cross section of the community.

Besides the sumptuous breakfast that featured, among others, mouth-watering Caribbean dishes, patrons were entertained by a praise dance by Isabelle Milees; harmonica and steel band-playing by Leonard Beek and Anthony Trebuse, respectively; and singing by Mariah Thomas.

Praise Dancer Isabelle Milees. Photo by Nelson A. King

Beek offered the late Harry Belafonte’s “On My Way,” “Jamaica Farewell” and “Fly Me to the Moon,” among others.

Thomas, whose father hailed from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, rendered “1,000 Years” by Christiana Perri.

Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club President Jean Joseph, second from left, with elected officials, L-R: Council Member Farah N. Louis, Council Member Chris Banks and Sen. Roxaane Persaud. Photo by Nelson A. King

Local elected officials briefly addressed the ceremony, including New York State Sen. Roxanne Persaud, a lion and the Guyanese-born representative for the 19th Senate District in Brooklyn; City Council Member Farah N. Louis, the daughter of Haitian and Bahamian immigrants, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn; and Council Member Chris Banks, the son of an immigrant mother from Trinidad and Tobago and a father from Houston, Tx, who represents the 42nd Council District in Brooklyn.

Guest Speaker Dr. Sima Karetnaya, UN human rights ambassador, addresses ceremony. Photo by Nelson A. King

Dr. Sima Karetnaya, a Ukrainian-born, United Nations human rights ambassador, was the guest speaker. She commended the Lions for their community service, and urged them to “visit the different consulates.”

“I’ll like to become a lion,” Dr. Karetnaya revealed. “I don’t believe in the separation of religion and ethnicity.

“There’s only one race – the human race,” she added in very brief remarks. “The only thing from God is to love one another.”

Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club President Jean Joseph told patrons that their presence “makes this feel like paradise.”

“This is always a good time to reflect on the past year and evaluate our efforts with a critical eye, as we continue on our journey of service to the community,” said the certified public accountant (CPA) by training.

“Despite the global despair and gloom that permeates the air, the Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club is steadfast in our mission, and continues to widen our scope of influence, by infusing our community agenda with new and innovative events,” Joseph added.

She pointed to two new events this year, the College & Career Fair and Black History Excellence Awards, which she said were “extremely well received by the community, clearly indicating that there is a yearning for such events.

“Therefore, it is safe to project that we will be holding both events again,” Joseph said. “In the case of the College Fair, we plan to repeat this before the end of the year and celebrate Black History Month with an even bigger event in February next year.”

In the area of one of the club’s staple projects of food distribution, she said this was increased to twice weekly, feeding over 150 people.

Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Jean Joseph addresses ceremony. Photo by Nelson A. King

Joseph said club membership has not only been holding strong but has been “growing exponentially.”

At the club’s last meeting, she said eight new members were inducted, taking the total of over 100 new members inducted in her first term of office as president.

In addition to “managed events,” Joseph said Brooklyn Canarsie Lions continue to partner with other community groups, as well as with elected officials, “in making sure that the goods and services needed by the community reach the right people.”

Last month, she said the club successfully partnered with elected officials.

In collaborating with Kings Plaza Mall, Joseph said members volunteered at the mall’s Brooklyn Prom Giveaway project, “which was also well received by students and their families alike.”

Over the Christmas season, she said the members distributed toys and held a “successful Holiday Party for children of Dominica, thus expanding our reach internationally.

“We are pleased that, at the event, one of the island’s elected officials was part of the presenting delegation,” said Joseph, who is also Dominican-born.

Looking ahead, she said the Brooklyn Canarsie Lions Club is “on stream to once again hold” the Memorial Day ceremony, and participate in the National Night Out crime fighting program, the September 11 Remembrances and the back-to-school giveaways.

“There is certainly much more that we accomplished during the year, like bringing cultural awareness in Brooklyn and streamlining the club’s internal operations,” Joseph said. “But we need your support in order to continue carrying out our noble efforts of service.

“There is no limit to what we can do while working together,” she added. “I express my gratitude to you for your support of our 67th Breakfast Fundraiser, and our shared values of humanitarian work and community building.”

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