Life Worth Living Makes ‘Flowers While They Are Here’ Truly Special Event

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Life Worth Living founder John Fuqua greets attendees.

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, and Penns Grove High School athletic director Anwar Golden, among others.

Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae attending Life Worth Living event.

Hameed-El, a military veteran, barbershop owner and boxing trainer/owner, is called a “walking encyclopedia” of Vineland history and is known as “Uncle Hass” throughout the community.

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 and 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.

Will Turner with Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly. Photo courtesy Will Turner Facebook.

Edwards owns the nonprofit Manna From Heaven and serves 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.”

Tasheka Pierce-Fuqua makes a presentation at the Life Worth Living Flowers While They Are Here Awards Luncheon.

Life Worth Living founder John Fuqua said he came up with the idea because he believes 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 restrictions that allowed for such events with proper distancing and mask-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:

Penns Grove Athletic Director Anwar Golden and Life Worth Living John Fuqua, who attended college together at William Paterson. Photo courtesy John Fuqua Facebook.
Kenny Hunter gives opening prayer.
Cellist Aijee Evans performs at Life Worth Living Flowers While They Are Here Brunch. Photo courtesy Nicole Linsey Facebook.
Retired educator Annie Wright receives Ronald “Blue” Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo courtesy John Fuqua Facebook.
Some of the attendees at the Life Worth Living Flowers While They Are Here Awards Luncheon.

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