MIAMI — An 82-year-old service organization comprising a small group of committed professional men will hand out college scholarships and community honors when members gather for their annual celebration on Sunday.
The King of Clubs of Greater Miami Inc. will salute some of the brightest and best students from around Miami-Dade County at its 26th annual Scholarship/Awards Banquet slated for a Miami hotel.
The club will award the Dr. Tee S. Greer Memorial Scholarships to Britney Alabre of Coral Reef High School, Khristlyn Bellamy of the School for Allied Studies, Wolfson Campus, and Shirley Pierre of Miami Northwestern High School.
The Drs. Richard and Lorraine Strachan Scholarships will be presented to Cambry Brown
of Hialeah-Miami-Lakes High School and Austin Harrison of William H. Turner Technical Arts High School.
The Dr. Rozalyn Hester Paschal Presidential Scholarship will be presented to Cameron Rutledge of Coral Reef High School and the Fletcher Pascal Jr. Scholarship is going to Phillip Wells of Miami Carol City Senior High School.
The club’s Outstanding Community Service Award will be presented to Jackie Bell, founder and executive director of New Washington Heights CDA, and Shedrick Gilbert, whose career has spanned the fields of postal service, plumbing and the church.
Ten young college men founded The King of Clubs of Greater Miami Inc. on Nov. 20, 1930. Members say the founders believed that the organization’s mission, “should rest on civic service rather than on social extravagance,” according to the club’s literature.
The signature event for several decades was The King of Clubs of Greater Miami Forum which was discontinued after attendance dropped off but was restored in 1991.
As an additional feature, members organized an annual scholarship and awards banquet to help promising students in need of college financial assistance and also to salute a handful of persons who have shown what the club regards as outstanding community service. Each award recipient will receive $1000.
This year’s crop of students and community servants continues that tradition, judging from club notes on their background.
Britney Alabre has a grade point average of 4.28 and is an Advanced Placement and Honor Roll student with membership in several honor societies. She is active in the Kagoshima-Miami Sister City Program, People to People Ambassador Student Program and a member of the Bible Club. She will major in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida,
Khristlyn Bellamy has a grade point average of 6.17, is a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa, the Miami-Dade College Honor Society. She received a Presidential Commendation from President George W. Bush and recognition from the Department of Education for scoring in the top 10 percent on national tests for six consecutive years. She also received the Presidential Service Award signed by President Barack Obama.
Khristlyn has provided extensive service in her school, including serving as the captain of the Step Team and student representative on her school’s Educational Excellence Advisory Committee. She organized tu-
torial sessions for classmates needing help with Algebra II and Chemistry and she is a founding member of Girl Talk 101, a forum to discuss issues such as teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, STDs and self-esteem.
She found time to serve in the community, as a board member of the Youth Advisory Committee sponsored by the Children’s Trust that developed a curriculum for middle school students on the dangers of peer harassment and cyber bullying. She is also a member of the Ivy Rosettes Club, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Shirley Pierre’s grade point average is 5.52, putting her in the top 5 percent of her graduating class. She too has distinguished herself academically and in service to others. She has been on the honor roll since her freshman year, is a member of Mu Alpha Theta National Honor Society, Health Occupations Students of America, SECME Robotics Team, National Achievement Society and Women of Tomorrow. She is a member of the Miami Youth Council, helping to create a garden to honor the victims of violence and volunteers during summer in Mercy Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Shirley has conducted biomedical research at the University of Miami, where she will study nursing. She completed the Energetic Ray Global Observatory (ERGO) Project Internship at Syntheon, where she built cosmic ray detectors and served on the media and creative team and the educational and curriculum team. She has received awards in health care administration, math and spreadsheet application and she is also a state Licensed Nurse Assistant.
Cambry Brown has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 and is enrolled in English Honors, Government/Economics Honors and TV Production Honors classes. She will major in Psychology at Bethune-Cookman University.
Austin Harrison, who has a 2.0 grade point average, played tenor saxophone in the Miami Northwestern High band for the past three years because his school, Turner Tech, does not have a band. He is a member of the Youth Group at Liberty City Church of Christ and president of the Lamplighters of Sigma Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
He will study at Bethune-Cookman.
Cameron Rutledge’s GPA is 6.37, putting him in the top 4 percent in his graduating class. He has been on the Honor Roll since his freshman year in high school and is an Advanced Placement Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society. He is president of the Black Student Union, is an actor with the Holocaust Impact Theatre, volunteers for Shake-A-Leg Miami and coaches a youth basketball team, among a wide range of community service. He will major in Biochemistry at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania and hopes to become a pediatrician.
Phillip Wells has a 4.06 grade point average and is in the top 10 percent of his class.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and has served in the Marching Band, the tennis team and the Quest Club Royal Court. He volunteered with the I AM ONE organization which organized visits to homeless shelter and environmental cleanups and helped other students with SAT preparation. He plans to study Sports Management/Business at the University of Florida.
Jackie Bell, who has been tapped for a community service honor, has championed urban community development for the past 38 years. Her current projects include Overtown Folk Life Fridays, an outdoor festival that reflects her desire to provide opportunities for small businesses to gain more exposure and consumers.
Bell made history as the first African-American credit manager for Lerner Stores. He is a founding member of the Rape Treatment Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital and Citizen’s Crime Watch of Miami-Dade County. Former President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the Civil Rights Advisory Commission and she has extensive experience in political activism. She also worked with former President Jimmy Carter’s administration, with state Sen. Jack Gordon and with state Rep. Gwen Cherry. She also served on the state’s 2010 Growth Management Plan and served as Congressman Peron Mitchell’s Brain Trust for Minority Business.
Shedrick Gilbert, the other community service honoree, has served in a variety of positions at St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Overtown, including chairing the Boy Scout committee, Troup 77 and as director of St. Agnes Rainbow Village Community Development Corporation, president of the Algonquin Club and president of the Booker T. Washington Class of 1938.
Retired educator Richard Strachan is current president of The King of Clubs, with Ron Butler as recording secretary and Ja’Shon Fayson as treasurer. Fletcher Paschal III is vice president, James Fayson, financial secretary, Arthur Simms, chaplain, and Astrid K. Mack, an expert on sickle cell disease, president-emeritus.
Other club members are Lawrence Adams, Edwin T. Demeritte, James Maull, James B. Randolph Jr., Arthur Woodard, Bradford Brown, Nelson Jenkins, Jerry Miller and N. Patrick Range.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: King of Clubs 26th Annual Scholarship/Awards Banquet
WHEN: Sunday, May 6, 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Doubletree Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay, 1717 N. Bayshore Dr., Miami
Photo: Austin Harrison