SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - The virtual event, under the theme, “Honoring the Past, Ushering the Future", was graced with the presence of, past presidents, various special guests and visitors as well as the regular members.
Miss Malaika Maxwell contributed to the meeting by performing a cover of I Was Here, the epic song by Beyonce.
Miss Teen St. Maarten 2019/2020 also contributed to the meeting by reciting her winning rap/poem about climate change, recycling, and the dump.
While the club’s 5th anniversary is originally in June, it wasn't possible to celebrate due to the pandemic. However, they used this year's International Toastmasters Day, October 22, 2020, to still commemorate the momentous 5-year occasion.
This 5-year celebration was very essential as after hurricane Irma the club was on the brink of closing due to a shift of member's priorities, lack of motivation, and the regular meeting location, AUC School of Medicine, being closed for some time.
However, through the assistance and dedication from the coaches at the time, the club was able to bounce back, refocus, and now had a new vision for the future, focusing on providing a space for experienced professionals to develop their skills and network.
The virtual event also acknowledged and presented certificates to the club’s past presidents, such as Gerard Lake, Ren-Dwina Browne, Peter Pizor, Melissa Harrison-Grinuva, Isabella Hyman-Graneau, Leona Gibs-Arnell; Sponsors: Linda Mouse Flanders, Valerie Brazier, Roland Tobias; Mentors: Vernicia Brooks, Cheryl Dangleben-York; and Coaches: Tamara Groeneveldt, Sharon Layne.
The addresses by past sponsors, mentors, coaches, and presidents allowed for a wonderful opportunity to reminisce on the club's successes and challenges, in starting up and especially after Irma.
The club president, Mr. Damien Schmidt, wrapped up the meeting by celebrating the great comeback of the club, outlining the club's strong culture, highlighting future plans of the club, and challenging others to "continue to leave your mark so everyone will know that you were here!"
The President also mentioned during his speech that the club is "going through a global pandemic, and the universe has given us this another opportunity to prove that we are leaders in pushing forward, as we did after the hurricane".
Overall, the night was a great celebration and reminder of overcoming, perseverance, and strong leadership.
The club meets twice monthly (every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month) via the provided Zoom link at 5.30 PM.
Toastmasters is an international organization that specializes in honing the personal and professional development skills of communication and leadership for persons (young, mature and otherwise) who dare to challenge themselves to grow in a dynamic and friendly learning environment. In return, these acquired skills foster the important attributes of self-confidence and personal growth necessary for public speaking, work, leadership or interpersonal communications.