Saturday, July 27, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Please Note: If you prefer, you may access the letter below in PDF Format by Clicking Here!
Friday, July 19, 2013
Friday, July 19, 2013
Dear Family & Friends,
July 11-14 the family celebrated the 40th Annual Reunion in grand style. Thank you to the Cleveland Chapter and to all who attended this historic event. I have received many positive comments from those who attended and those who have seen photos, videos, the newsletter, or spoken with others.
I have also received several inquiries regarding the absence of scholarship awards for the first time since 1984. I hope to alleviate some confusion by addressing that issue here. If you attended the Friday Evening Banquet you probably recall my message from the lectern entitled Dreams Do Not Die. The message, hastily prepared in my mind as I was handed the microphone, was meant to explain the absence of the awards while cushioning the impact of that absence.
The priorities and needs of our young people include education, inspiration and the acknowledgement of others, particularly family. That is why in 1984, using personal funds, I established the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Fund, giving full recognition to Synnia Solomon, who many of us recognize as The Dreamer, because in fact, Dreams Do Not Die.
Understanding the needs of our young people and recognizing that none of us are here forever, in the late 1980’s one of the local reunion chapters agreed to fund the scholarship awards during their turn at hosting the reunion. That bold and positive move was repeated over and over again for the next twenty plus years, and continued through the 2012 Reunion in Atlanta, because, Dreams Do Not Die.
When I was asked to present the scholarship awards at the 2013 Reunion in Cleveland, I accepted that invitation as an honor to continue the long standing tradition of presenting chapter awards to deserving young people, because after all, Dreams Do Not Die.
I discovered at 2:30 PM on Friday that no funds had been allocated for scholarships to be presented during the 2013 Reunion. Many years ago, I decided that I could best serve the family not by being a member of the local chapter, but by promoting the use of technology, maintaining web sites, blogs, a Family Facebook Page, publishing a family newsletter, and paying the costs of those and similar efforts; because, Dreams Do Not Die.
The Bertram & Willie Gardner Citizenship Awards that were handed out at the Friday Banquet were originally planned for distribution privately on the following day. The reason for that privacy was to respect the planning and work of the Cleveland Chapter. The citizenship awards were privately funded and had nothing to do with the reunion. Several individuals have asked me about the future of the Synnia Solomon Scholarship Awards. As has been the accepted practice for over twenty years, that question can best be answered by the hosting chapter.
I close by thanking God for causing me to create and fund the Citizenship Awards at such a time as this, so that in spite of the circumstances, recognition and inspiration flowed on Friday evening as further evidence that Dreams Do Not Die!