germaine-smith-baugh_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — Elected officials and nearly 200 families and children joined the Urban League of Broward County (ULBC) for its First Anniversary Celebration and naming ceremony. The Family Fun Day kicked off with the unveiling of the newly named Sunshine Health Community Empowerment Center, in tribute of Sunshine Health’s $2 million support of the ULBC.

“Sunshine Health proudly supports the initiatives of the Urban League that promote healthy living through education, resources and improved access to care,” said Chris Paterson, Sunshine Health CEO.  “We are proud to partner with them as we work to improve the quality of life for those living in Broward County,” he said regarding the donation.

During the naming ceremony Congressman Alcee Hastings spoke, saying, “During my time in Congress, I have led and supported efforts to facilitate better health care, and it is impactful to see the Urban League partner with entities like Sunshine Heath, or the many wellness vendors here today, for the betterment of our community.”

Other attendees included State Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed as well as speakers State Rep. Hazelle Rogers and Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Bobby DuBose. Following their remarks, Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness presented a proclamation, in honor of the anniversary celebration and on behalf of Broward County, to Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the ULBC.

“Anyone who knows me knows the pride I have for the Urban League, and it is because of the generous support of partners like Sunshine Health, our community and the dedication of Urban Leaguers that so much is possible,” said Commissioner Holness.

Following the ceremony a special Comcast Internet Essentials Program presentation featured 35 program-enrolled families who received free laptops and access to affordable Internet services; addressing the gap between those with access to and an understanding of the Internet and those without.

“We are excited to provide these services to families enrolled in the Comcast Internet Essentials Program, as it will open the door to new possibilities and help in Comcast’s efforts to close the digital divide,” said Dawn Stagliano, Comcast government affairs and community
investment official for the Florida region.

After the presentation, attendees had a first look at new plaques, dedicated by public artist George Gadson, who was the visionary behind the two Urban League sculptures Equality and Common Unity, as well as an inside look at the Urban League brick walkway, showcasing the indelible imprints supporters have left in support of the ULBC mission.

The fun-filled event also featured a live performance by singer/songwriter Indigo courtesy of Cox Media as well as 99 Jamz and Hot 105; a bounce house and other family entertainment; food trucks; wellness vendors; and outdoor Zumba provided by Baptist Health.

“We had a lot to celebrate today and we are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from our elected officials, board members, partners, vendors and community members,” said Smith-Baugh. “I especially would like to thank Chris Paterson with Sunshine Health for the immense support and we welcome new opportunities to further our reach and to support the wellness of our community residents,” she said.

*Pictured above is Germaine Smith-Baugh.