West Palm Beach, Fla. – Businesswoman Shenetria Moore’s impact in South Florida includes her annual Project 12 calendar honoring positive and successful Black males in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Last weekend the healthcare executive for VITAS Healthcare acknowledged the ﬁrst responders and other medical professionals who have served South Florida since the coronavirus pandemic.
Moore, of West Palm Beach, said “God told me to honor them because a little appreciation goes a long way.”
On Sunday, the entrepreneur recognized 25 such workers in a drive-by parade and ceremony at the John Prince Park Campground. She was in tears during a telephone interview a day after the event.
“I’m sorry to be so emotional,” said Moore while describing the honorees’ gratitude. “To see all of their reactions to having the entire community come out to support them is heartwarming. It’s beautiful.”
The honorees say it’s Moore whom they owe a debt of gratitude for thinking of them. Cpl. Gregory Newborn of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Ofﬁce said they give selflessly in their professions, but never expect a return.
“We don’t do this in order to get anything back or to be rewarded,” he said. “We do this because we want to help. Not everyone can do this job. And to have Ms. Moore honor our service is really special. She is to be commended for her actions and for having such an event. We owe her our gratitude.”
Newborn, 48, said he’s worked at the sheriff’s ofﬁce since the was 18 and has moved up the ranks of leadership, but still, “I was very surprised when I was notiﬁed, and I’m quite appreciative.”
Charlotte Price Leonard, a councilwoman for the city of West Lake in western Palm Beach County, said she has been a healthcare professional for more than three decades, having started in the industry in 1986. But despite her longevity and dedication, she said, “When I learned of the honor my ﬁrst reaction was, ‘Why me?’” Leonard said she’s humbled, and also impressed by the committee’s wide range of selections.
“They chose to honor frontliners from a broad spectrum – ofﬁcers, nurses, executives, practitioners – professions across the gamut. Shenetria has done a superb job and I’m so appreciative to have been selected. It’s really an honor,” She added that the ceremony and drive-by “was almost like a family reunion of sorts!”
Daniel Sanchez, an Hispanic American and respiratory therapist who’s been in the healthcare industry 25 years and with VITAS for the past 12, said he knows the unprecedented impact covid had on Black and Brown people with so many hospital admissions at the onset of the pandemic in 2020, and also the toll on frontliners and ﬁrst responders, so he’s appreciative of someone recognizing their efforts.
“Not that we want it, but it’s a nice feeling when someone acknowledges what we do, said Sanchez. “It’s humbling. And it feels nice. We’ve all been through a lot.”
Moore said God would have her to do this annually, so next year she’ll give it her heart and soul again.