Caribbean Bar Association Supports Regional Hurricane Relief Effort


The Caribbean Bar Association (CBA) will be donating the proceeds from its annual fundraising banquet to support hurricane victims in the region.
This is the Association’s most recent demonstration of support for the regional relief effort as the membership has been working with the Caribbean Consulates in Florida to raise cash, goods and services for the hurricane-ravaged islands.
CBA President, Robert Vaughn, who made the announcement at the Association’s 10th anniversary banquet on Saturday (Sept. 18) at the Westin Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, said it was a unanimous decision to divert funding from its usual projects and support the relief and reconstruction process in Caribbean countries affected by recent hurricanes.
Mr. Vaughn called on the Caribbean community in Florida to unite, “as in times such as these, there can be no boundaries.”
Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Professor Rex Nettleford, who was the quest speaker at the function, commended the CBA and other donors in Florida, for supporting the relief and reconstruction efforts in the Caribbean.
He spoke of the positive support given by Trinidad and Tobago, corporate donors from the Eastern Caribbean as well as from Jamaica, which, even though affected by the hurricane, has reached out to more severely affected countries.
Stating that the government had taken steps to establish the Diaspora Foundation “to ensure the participation of our people abroad in the development and operations of civil society back home,” he noted that the CBA was “a vital constituency in forging and keeping the links bringing status and recognition to our Caribbean community.”
As part of the 10- year anniversary of the CBA, the three founding members, all Jamaican nationals, were honored. The three are Jerry D. Hamilton of Hock, Hamilton & Anderson P.A.; Neil A. DeLeon of DeLeon & DeLeon, P. A; and A. Wayne Gill, Chairman of Adorno & Yoss Corporation.
Western Union Financial Services was also presented with the Corporate Citizen Award for ongoing commitment to community development worldwide.Since its inception in 1994, the membership of the CBA has grown from 25 to more than 150 attorneys from the Caribbean-American community in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties practising in several areas of law.
The CBA recently extended its commitment to the Central Florida community with a launch in March this year of another chapter serving Orlando, Melbourne and Tampa areas.
With its motto of ‘Informing, Educating and Empowering’ the fraternity has developed several activities and corporate and civic partnerships to fulfill their mission and objectives on behalf of the Caribbean-American community.
In 2003, the CBA received the Dade County Bar Association’s pro bono award for the year in recognition of its services to the community. The Association, in the last three years, has donated almost US $700,000 in pro bono services to the community at large with a major commitment to the biannual drive to help immigrants, once they become eligible, to apply for citizenship status in the United States.
Among the nearly 400 guests present at the annual gala, were members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps in South Florida.

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