By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
BRIDGETON – Dignitaries and supporters gathered at the Everett P. Marino Center Saturday to recognize four community leaders for the Life Worth Living’s inaugural “Flowers While You Are Here” awards brunch.
Longtime Bridgeton Public Schools school board member Angelia Edwards was honored with local barber and boxing gym owner Hassan Hameed-El, nonprofit leader Carole Green and Mainline Fuel owner Bill Gould.
Attendees included Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae, Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, several Cumberland County Board of Commissioner members including director Joe Derella, Bridgeton City Council members Edward Bethea and J. Curtis Edwards, Penns Grove High School athletic director Anwar Golden among others.
Hameed-El, a military veteran, is called a “walking encyclopedia” of Vineland history and know as “Uncle Hass” throughout the community as a barbershop owner and boxing trainer/owner. Gould has operated Mainline for more than 40 years. A fixture of the Cumberland County community, Gould has generously given his support and resources to the community.
Green has worked as director of Gateway Family Success to her own nonprofit Principles to Stand. She regularly organizes an HBCU College tour for students and her Teen Summit program for youth has been running in Bridgeton for the past 10 years.
Edwards owns the nonprofit Manna from Heaven as well as serving as president of the Greater Vineland NAACP. She has worked as a community leader for the past 30 years.
Retired educator Annie Wright was awarded the Ronald “Blue” Bowman Lifetime Achievement Award “for her lifetime body of work impacting so many lives over the course of her life.”
Life Worth Living said Wright “instilled discipline and respect in all of her students … never backing down to a fight and [was] always giving our community so much. Annie Wright is an example of grassroots and doing it for the culture.”
Life Worth Living founder John Fuqua said he came up with the idea because he believe flowers should be shown in appreciation before they appear at funerals. He told Front Runner New Jersey.com he pulled together the event in a month when the state opened up coronavirus restricts that allowed for such event with proper distancing and masks wearing.
Kenny Hunter offered the opening prayer for the event while Tasheka Pierce-Fuqua gave Life Worth Living’s mission and vision statement. Cellist Aijee Evans entertained the attendees during the brunch. Chris Wilson and Will Turner served as master of ceremonies.
Here are some of the photos from the event:
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