BY SAUDI MUHAMMAD ELLIS, GUEST WRITER TO THE TIMES
ORLANDO – The Orlando (FL) Chapter of Chums, Incorporated celebrated 25 years of community service at its annual spring luncheon “Lunching with the Arts” on Saturday April 15, 2023 at First Baptist Orlando’s Faith Hall. The Orlando Chapter of Chums is a local chapter of Chums, Incorporated, a national women’s service organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of children in the communities they serve. The Orlando Chums have been doing just that since 1998 providing mentorship, college scholarships, reading festivals, and supporting organizations servicing Central Florida children.
Lunching with the Arts is the annual spring luncheon fundraiser held by the Orlando Chums. The annual event features visual, literary, and music art as integral parts of the program as well as a scholarship presentation to local students. This year, Standing Ovation Talent Group opened the program with an exciting dance performance. Renowned educator and author, Dr. Clara Walters, gave the keynote address reflecting on her experiences as a teacher, administrator, and consultant with Orange County Public Schools. Dr. Walter’s book, “Leadership That Restores Hope In Public Schools In The African American Community” is a blueprint for successfully turning low performing schools into “Beacons of Hope.” Joyce Hayes Fine Art decorated the room, and musical tributes to R&B greats by DJ Wringo had attendees singing along and some leaving their seats.
The Orlando Chapter of Chums has awarded over $32,000 to local African American females from Central Florida high schools, and this year three students were recipients of $1250 scholarship awards. They are Logan Walker of Apopka HS, and Alexandra Adrien and Sharlee Shaw both from Dr. Phillips HS. Additionally, four previous scholarship recipients attended who are now pursuing or completing graduate studies.
Special thanks were extended to Chums, Incorporated National President Barbara Neville who attended the celebration and presented Orlando Chapter President Elizabeth Saunders with a 25th Anniversary Certificate of Recognition. The Orlando (FL) Chapter of Chums, Incorporated looks forward to the next 25 years of service to the Central Florida community and fulfilling its national theme to “listen to the children… enrich their lives.” To learn more about Chums, Incorporated visit the national website at www.chums-inc.org