Tallahassee Links celebrate 17 young gentlemen at sixth annual Links Beautillion affair
Special to the Outlook
Tallahassee Links hosted a sold out ballroom of over 350 guests at its Sixth Annual Links Beautillion white tie formal presentation held Saturday, Feb. 28, at the University Center Club where 17 local high school seniors were celebrated, presented to the community and received almost $12,000 in scholarship awards. The organization developed its Leadership Development, Mentoring, Character Education Program and Links Beautillion (aka Links Beautillion) as a curriculum based program designed to celebrate the achievements of male high school seniors while also encouraging and inspiring them through participation in high quality leadership, character education and mentoring opportunities.
Links Beautillion participants (each referred to as Beau and collectively as Beaux) were selected based upon demonstrated achievements in: academics, leadership, sports, the arts, community service and/or church involvement. Beaux participating in the 2016 leadership development and mentoring program included: Dizavier Harris of FAMU DRS; Jabari Acre, TreMon Collins and Jeromee Conner of Rickards High School; Phillip Lucas and Anthony Reaves, Jr. of Leon High School; Johnathan Bailey, Teddy Feracho, III, Andrew Giles, David Jackson, and Bryant Mutanga of Lincoln High School; Brannon Cloy and Carlos Williams of Florida State University High School; Quinton Forehand of East Gadsden High School; Herbert Franklin of Wakulla High School; and Joshua Lacey and Justice Otway of Lawton Chiles High School.
The Links Beautillion program featured a six week curriculum-based program beginning with a “Green Coat Ceremony,” signifying leadership and character commitment, and culminated with the White Tie Formal Presentation. The formal program celebrated their leadership, cultural and character enrichment program completion. Aside from mentoring facilitated by community leaders, participants engaged a leadership and character development program centered around: rites of passage, cultural awareness, leadership development and community service learning. Weekly workshop sessions exposed Links Beaux to extraordinary experiences, information and highlights such as: several university tours; a Man-to-Man Session; a visit to New Orleans, LA where they toured the Le Musee’ de f.p.c. Museum, engaged local customs and celebrations of Mardi Gras, toured the Historic French Quarter, dined on local New Orleans culinary hallmarks, attended and engaged the Pelican professional players courtside at the New Orleans Pelicans – New York Nets NBA basketball game; a presentation on the Tuskegee Airman provided by Dr. A.J. Brickler; were guests of and toured the Florida Supreme Court; an international trends presentation on Caribbean Customs, Culture and Cuisine; a tour of FAMU Black History Month’s “African-American Treasures from The Kinsey Collection”; a Southwood Golf Course golf clinic; participated in an Entrepreneurial Session presented by Entrepreneur and Former NFL Linebacker Angelo Crowell; mastered formal dining etiquette; and learned how to waltz under the tutelage of acclaimed World Ballet Director, Mr. Henry Hernandez and Mrs. Aurora Hansen of Tallahassee Community College. These honored young gentlemen also presented a Black History Month community service project for Governors Charter Academy elementary school students entitled “The Preservation for the Next Generation.”
The culminating Links Beautillion formal presentation featured the traditional Mothers and Beaux Waltz. Beautillion Mothers and Beaux were later joined in Waltz by Fathers and Links Beautillion Attendants who included: T’Niyah Anthony, Nadia Batchelor, Jordyn Marva Berrian, Aniyah Bunch, Savannah Cole, Nerissa Feracho, Tymecha Flyod, KarNecea Franklin, Dayna-Lynn Monet Grice, Tynea Chantora Harris, Daja Jackson, Amara Lewis, Blessing Nkembo, Jeterrica Pugh, Erielle LeTrice Robinson, Genesis Triplett and Adrianna Williams. Mayor Andrew Gillum issued an inspiring charge to the celebrated Beaux and Attorney Fred Flowers served as the program’s Griot. Musical inspiration was provided by Attorney E. Leon Jacobs accompanied by Dr. Mary Roberts.
Links Beautillion awards and scholarships to assist the Beaux’s college education were announced by Dr. Delores Lawson. Each Beau received a participant trophy and a scholarship award. In addition, superlative award recipients were: Academic Excellence – Brannon Cloy, winner, Johnathan Bailey, second place and Teddy Feracho, III, third place; Outstanding Leadership – David Jackson, III, winner, Anthony Reaves, Jr., second place and both Jabari Acre and Carlos Williams tied for third place; Superior Entrepreneurship – Jeromee Conner, winner, Anthony Reaves, Jr., second place and David Jackson, third place; Outstanding Community Service – Andrew Giles, winner, Jeromee Conner second place, and Bryant Mutanga third place; Beaux chosen as the Best All Around Beau was Phillip Lucas; and the 2016 Beau of the Year winner was Phillip Lucas.
Tallahassee Chapter President, Dr. Debra Austin, said the group’s membership was most pleased to witness the growth and development of these young gentlemen. She said the Links Beaux’s sense of civic responsibility, leadership, aspiration for professional achievement and enthusiasm in embracing accountability as adults were commendable. The 2016 Links Beautillion was chaired by Mrs. Linda Dilworth. Links Beautillion Deans, Dr. Thyria Ansley and Ms. Dorothy P. Williams (Dean Emeritus), applauded the Beaux’s program accomplishments and also the zeal with which the curriculum and program agenda were embraced by the 17 selected participants. The 2015 Beau of the Year (5th Annual), Lawton Robinson, a freshman at Florida State University, offered a stirring message at the formal event directed to the 2016 Links Beaux. In reflection he confirmed the college preparation value that the Links Beautillion experience provided and advised the young gentlemen to be focused, committed and to work hard in their preparation for a lifetime of professional success.
The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women of color in 282 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. Links members contribute more than 500,000 documented hours of community service annually – strengthening their communities and enhancing the nation. In 1951, the Tallahassee Chapter of The Links, Incorporated was the first chapter chartered in Florida and has a membership of 36 leading African American women in the Tallahassee community. Tallahassee Links’ current program theme is Intentional Leadership, Serving With a Servant’s Heart.