A successful project takes alot of people, planning, budgeting, fundraising, meetings etc. The persons behind community projects are sometimes never known or mentioned. Radio Grenadines decided to interview Ann Hendricks, who heads the group that made the children play park in Union Island possible.
The recently constructed children playground in Ashton, Union Island , was funded by the “Friends of Union Island NA/UK” commonly referred to as “Friends”.
The Playground project was conceived when two “Friends” committee members visited Union Island and met with a number of Community Leaders. Several projects were submitted at this meeting. The Park project which was submitted, by Vernalyn Blencowe received the most favorable response and was accepted; but the site suggested was too small. The Committee decided on another location with the help of Ulric (Calvin) Hutchinson of Union Island who identified and received Government consent to use the site.
Seeking out committed citizens to support the project and raising much needed funds were the two challenges experienced in this venture. The fundraising effort was supported largely by people in the New York area. Canada and the UK also sent financial support; and the late Daniel Scrubb of the UK made a sizeable bequest to “Friends” which was a great help in making this project a reality.
Most of the challenges in Union Island were taken on by Ulric (Calvin) Hutchinson, a returning citizen of Union Island who prepared the land and dealt with the installation of the equipment.
The Friends of Union Island NA/UK” group consists of a Steering Committee as follows: Ann Adams-Hendricks-Chair, New York; Ronald Ambrose-Secretary, Atlanta; Jason Jones, Toronto; Matthew Jones-Treasurer,Winnipeg; Phil Stewart, New York; Gloria Morgan, Montreal; Victor Hypolite, USA/UI, and Gracita Alert, UK. The late Daniel Scrubbhad been our UK representative.
In addition to the Steering Committee, there is a New York sub-Committee which handles most of the fundraising activities. At the inception of the sub-committee, Bertina & Joseph Hutchinson, Joseph Hendricks, and Phil Stewart based in New York worked diligently in support with Ann Hendricks to make the first fundraising a success.
The sub-committee in New York comprises of the following persons: Ann Hendricks, Joseph Hendricks, Phil Stewart, Angela Edwards, Roger Mulzac, Ursula Ottley, Josiah Stewart, Bernadette Selby, Debra Ambrose, Donna Smith, Kennedy Straker, and Keith Stewart.
“There is space for additional equipment in the park, but at this time we have no plans to add more equipment. In respect to the next project, we are waiting for the submission of a list of projects from contacts on Union Island. We will then accept the best and most feasible project given our means. Our intent is to continue helping and supporting meaningful projects on Union Island”. stated Ann Hendricks chairman of the “Friends” group.
The Organization – Friends of Union Island started in May 2011. Around that time, there was a dire need to build a morgue on Union Island for obvious reasons. The Union Island community was working together raising money to build this morgue. They appealed to ex-pats for additional support. Friends decided to spearhead this project in America and Canada and raised a substantial amount of funds for the project.
Support also came from the Union Island Cultural Association (UICA) in Toronto, Canada– thanks to Eldine Barnwell, Chairperson and Jason Jones, Public Relations; supported with materials and labor, and the Union Island supporters in the UK led by the late Daniel Scrubb, Yvette Thomas and Yvonne John. The Union Island community supported with donations of material and labor.
After the morgue project was successfully completed, Friends of Union Island NA/UK, decided on the playground next.
“Friends will continue to help in whatever way possible to improve the Union Island community”. stated Ann Hendricks