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HALO Hosts 9th Annual Cultural Night

February 1, 2014
11:12 PM EDT

By Dessalines Ferdinand

The Haitian American Leadership Organization (HALO), held its 9th annual Cultural Night gala on Saturday, January 18, 2014 to widespread success and a wonderful time. HALO is dedicated to 'unifying and empowering the Haitian diaspora' and it believes that tomorrow's leaders and visionaries are right here among us in the untapped resources of bright, inquisitive minds of youth.

The Gala event that HALO features every year is a fundraising effort to help support the Free College Scholarship Fund that helps Haitian-American students pursue their dreams through college and into the career fields of their choice.

Since 2006, HALO organizes a special event for their Cultural Night. This year's event, held at the luxurious JW Marriot Hotel at 1109 Brickell Avenue in Miami, was sold out and a raving success.

HALO Annual Cultural Night is one of the premiere events throughout the Haitian-American community. As guests arrived, they were greeted by several friendly, warm gentlemen and ladies. Guests were escorted to a check-in counter where they received Tickets with their table assignment. As they entered the lobby on the third floor, they were welcomed with a fine glass of wine and exquisite music by renowned DJ Nicky Mixx. The atmosphere from the beginning of the evening was lively, buoyant, and charming.

Welcome to the Royal Ball in Haiti

This year's theme was a Royal Ball, with guests donning their finest gowns and suits that befitted the time period of King Henry, the 1st King of Haiti.

The Mistress of Ceremony, Josette Cantave, welcomed the assistance and acknowledged a number of prominent attendees. Father Jean-Marie of Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church in Little Haiti deli-vered the invocation at this 9th annual cultural night, a powerful spiritual message.

The founder and President of HALO, Dr. Angelo Gousse, then addressed the crowd. He reminded people of the importance of education, and thanked them all for their support and generous donations that help fund the scholarships that are essential to the education of so many young, ambitious individuals of Haitian descent.

Following Dr. Gousse, HALO's Executive Director, Beatrice Cazeau, Esq. and Ms. Nancy Antoine announced the Halo's 2014 Scholarship winners.

HALO also presented a Plaque of Recognition to well-known musician Robert Martino, Dr. Jean-Philippe Austin and his wife Maggie Austin, esq., Gerard Philippeaux and Marie-Denise Gervais, for their professional work in their respective fields of interest.

At the closing remarks, Dr. Herold Merisier, the Secretary General of HALO, congratulated the recipients on their award and wished them well on their future educational journeys. He went on to thank the guests and those who contributed saying, "Without your help, your true support, tonight's event would not have been so successful, as it is."

This event draws some of the most significant names in the Haitian-American community as well as special dignitaries who highlight their support for what HALO aims to achieve.

This event was sponsored by a number of local businesses, including Azure College School of Nursing, Primary Medical Care Center & Urgent Care Clinic, the Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner District 2, Jean Monestime, and the office of the Mayor and Council of the City of North Miami.

As the evening wound down, Haitian band T-Vice and DJ Nicky Mixx played an exceptional blend of Caribbean music that continued to bring joy and festiveness to the gala event.

HALO focuses on bringing together today's leaders and bright minds to share with the community and those who wish to pursue their talents into the future. The ultimate goal of HALO's Free College Scholarship Fund, of course, is to help exceptional Haitian-American students achieve their dream of attending college. This year's recipients included:

Name: NATALIE JOSEPH
HS: North Miami Senior High School
GPA: 5.6
Prospective College/University: Florida State University
Proposed Major: Biology / Pre-Medicine

Name: STERLIE ACHILLE
HS: College Academy at Broward College
GPA: 5.1
Prospective College/University: Georgia Institute of Technology
Proposed Major: Biomedical Engineering

Name: LOUISE LACOSSE
HS: Fort Lauderdale High School
GPA: 4.1
Prospective College/University: Embry-Riddle Areonautic University
Proposed Major: Homeland Security / Computer Science

Name: SCHILEY VERTUSCA
HS: Coconut Creek High School
GPA: 4.5
Prospective College/University: University of Florida
Proposed Major: Biochemistry

Name: DJENANE AVRILIEN
HS: Coconut Creek High School
GPA: 4.3
Prospective College/University: Florida Atlantic University
Proposed Major: Nursing and Medicine

Name: GILLES FANTAL HS: Nova High School
GPA: 4.5
Prospective College/University: University of Florida
Proposed Major: Biology
Name: ELIETTE CASIMIR
HS: Coral Springs High School
GPA: 4.2
Prospective College/University: already accepted at Nova University, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University
Proposed Major: Education






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