The Pilot Club of Abaco held its 2nd Annual Emerald Ball at the Touch of Class Restaurant on Dec. 14. President Christine Lightbourne extended a heartfelt welcome to guests attending the phenomenal event.
Lightbourne’s remarks were followed by those of Lauren Riviere, Mistress of Ceremony and Membership Coordinator, who spoke regarding the Pilot Club’s efforts and its focus on brain safety, youth development, educational programs and awareness campaigns.
TJay Stubbs joined Riviere as the Master of Ceremony engaging the audience in humour and lots of door prizes.
Meanwhile, Charlotte Swann, Leadership Coordinator, explained what the Club’s Pick-Me-Up Programme entails with respect to addressing the needs of caregivers.
“Pilot International and its members are called to care more; at its core, Pilot International is an organization that cares,” Swann shared. “Pilot International is also proud of its multi-generational membership, and of our dedication to friendship and service.
“In essence, Pilot is a family, and we celebrate families. We are a family that cares for each other, for our communities and for our world.”
Four outstanding caregivers on Abaco were honoured during the ceremony: Leona Russell; Marilyn Edgecombe; Rochelle Stuart; and Marva Mercius. President Christine Lightbourne, who is also a caregiver, was acknowledged.
During her presentation, Mercius explained that one of her nine-year-old twins named Devon is autistic, so it is a team effort for the family to care for a special-needs child. Because he does not verbally communicate, people see him as being out of control or unruly when he makes screeching sounds and hand movements that draw attention.
“You would find a lot of times that the entire family is never together at various events because someone would always have to stay home with him because he does not do well in crowds,” she said. “The little things that people take for granted like taking a family vacation becomes a lot more difficult when you have a special-needs child.”
Mercius and her husband David have had to find a balance with showing the same love and attention to their oldest daughter and Devon’s twin, who are very supportive, loving and helpful with Devon. For Mercius, the most important thing is having a strong support system in and out of the home.
Nevertheless, she thanked God for entrusting her with Devon. Mercius ended by thanking the Pilot Club for recognizing them and for their work as she encouraged the other caregivers in the knowledge that God will not put more on them than they can bear.
A Raffle drawing was held at the end as well as an auction for Christmas candy trees. Stacy Dean, president elect, closed out the event with the vote of thanks. Entertainment was provided by DJ Craig “Boo” Allen.