The Pilot Club of Abaco’s 3rd Annual Emerald Ball was held on Dec. 15 at St. John the Baptist Parish Hall.
Shelly Austin, moderator, called on Pilot Club President Stacy Dean to deliver the welcome. She thanked everyone in attendance for their support of the event, and also took the opportunity to highlight the four “amazing, dedicated and well deserving caregivers in the community.”
2014 Honourees were: Mrs. Veola Newbold, Pastor Robin and Mrs. Myrna Weatherford and Mrs. Lisa Dames.
“Being a caregiver myself for the past 17 years, I understand the challenges and the joys; however, for me it is my profession, for you it is your life calling, and for that we want to honour you,” Dean shared.
The Pilot Club of Abaco has been in existence for 16 years and has worked in the community through youth development with their Anchor Clubs within the schools, promoting brain health and road safety, and caring for families in their time of need. As Pilots, she said, they are committed to ‘Do More, Care More and Be More’ always working with a spirit of friendship and excellence.
Dean explained that funds raised from the Emerald Ball would go toward their continued support of the Love for the Lowe’s project for the reconstruction of a home for Brent and Angie Lowe in Spring City.
Pastor Robin was also the guest speaker for the occasion, and he offered a brief speech. Basing his remarks on Psalms 100, he admonished the audience members to praise God and to enter into His gates with Thanksgiving despite their circumstances because “God takes care of His sheep.”
The Weatherfords have a daughter who was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, which is an autosomal recessive inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. Symptoms initially include poor coordination such as gait disturbance and it can also lead to scoliosis, heart disease and diabetes. One if 50,000 people are diagnosed with the condition.
His wife was not able to attend the event because she was home with their daughter. Nevertheless, Pastor Robin said that while they did not ask for such a special job, God chose him and his wife. Each day that goes by, he said that God gives them more grace to get by.
“I would encourage each and every one this evening to keep on serving the Lord with gladness in the lives of our loved ones,” he said. “They are all specially made by God for a purpose, and we have been made by God to serve them and to serve others. We are serving the Lord.”
The other two honourees were chosen for similar reasons. Mrs. Veola is a full-time caregiver for her husband Delgarno Newbold, who was diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s Disease in 2011. Mrs. Dames’ son Spurgeon Dames Jr., has cerebral palsy and a chronic lung disease. She is assisted by her husband Spurgeon Dames Sr., and the couple travel twice a year with their son to Shriner Children’s Hospital in Florida. Each honouree received a glass plaque with the Pilot Club of Abaco honoring them for being a dedicated caregiver and an inscription of their names.
After dinner was served, the real fun began with a combination of door prizes, raffle tickets and the grand raffle ticket drawing. The evening ended with Gary McDonald supplying music to which their guests danced the night away.