It was such an honor to be in the company of so many friends, colleagues, family and wise sages of the Smith Hill community on June 24 as we celebrated such an important milestone in SHCDC’s history – 25 years!
We are extremely blessed to have been able to offer 25 years of faithful service to our Smith Hill community through the promotion of healthy community, stimulation of economic development and the offering of affordable housing (rental and home ownership) … the catalyst for dreams.
When we think about what each of us dream for ourselves and our families, we realize it is a similar dream for many–to have a proud place to call home–and our mission is to be the key to the success of that dream for the residents in Smith Hill. Over the past 25 years, the CDC has handed out more than 1,200 physical keys … leading to fulfillment of dreams, futures, hopes and successes.
How lucky we were to be able to recognize Ivy at our anniversary party, who wanted to own her own home for her young boys, who still resides in our neighborhood and whose youngest son is twice employed by our Youth Stewardship Program.
The keys to our own small but mighty successful community develop is in its leadership, staff, board, volunteers, funders and supporters. We have been fortunate to have three amazing Executive Directors over the years – Aime Brissette, who joined us on June 24 along with then Assistant Director Paulette Lawrence, Ed Neubauer who was unable to attend but visited us before the event, and of course Francis Smith, who has taken his seat in the heavens and still watches over the CDC.
I am indebted to my staff for their steadfast commitment to our mission and for their hard work in pulling off an amazing event – Dana Flori, Carol Osborne, Alice Buckley, Rosa Ramos, Kate Corwin, Matt Lovecchio and to half full, without your guidance, good humor and love, it would have never been such a great time! Angie Salvatore, without your infectious smile and marvelous design sense we wouldn’t be blessed with such a beautiful commemorative piece that will grace the necks of woman for years and lapels of important men.
The key to sustainability is inspiration–and that’s why we honored Keith Morton with our first ever Smith Hill MVP Award. It was not reflected in a traditional plaque (because Keith is not a traditionalist) but a concrete salmon. One that was constructed at a summer Youth Rap program in 2002 called Smith Hill Visions, Concrete Dreams. We chose this particular animal because in a multitude of cultures, a salmon represents a willingness to give oneself up for another. It holds a position of honor and respect.
Keith’s dedication, service, knowledge, support and mentorship has meant the world to us in Smith Hill. Keith certainly has been busy in the community since 1994, and what inspires him inspires others. He has given so much of himself–time, energy, knowledge–and the commitment to his dreams for our organization, our community, and specifically our youth, deserves far more than we can give in return.
Thank you again, Keith! We love you!
The future of the CDC is before us, we have regained our momentum and are excited for what is ahead of us!! We thank you for your ongoing and continued support. It’s time to forge forward to another amazing 25 years. #IAmSmithHill
Smith Hill Community Development Corporation