The United Brothers and Sisters of Sierra Leone (UBSSL) annual fundraising and dance was held on April 25, 2015 at Howard Johnson Hotel & Conference Center in Fullerton, California. We have held our dinner and fundraising dance at this location for the past few years because of its central location, and many other concessions it gives UBSSL members and our guests every year. The major highlight of this year’s occasion was the honoring of our FALLEN MEDICAL HEROES who died of Ebola while attending to others who contracted the disease in Sierra Leone.
As with previous years, we were all very impressed and blessed with the level of attendance we had on this night. The attendance was far above our estimations. Mrs. Maureen Possible Kargbo opened the occasion by welcoming our guests including patrons and introduced Mr. Reynold Weeks & Mrs. Elaine Hume-Dawson the MCS’ for night. Rev. Daphne Ojeh conducted the Christian Prayer and Mr. Alpha Timbo conducted the Muslim Prayer.
As always, the National Anthems of both Sierra Leone and the United State Of America were sung by all. The President Mr. Abdul Kassim was introduced by one of the MC’S and he thanked and welcomed the guests and proceeded to read his Annual Speech. His speech this year was centered on the response of UBSSL to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone such as providing food for some quarantined victims.
He also gave a brief description of 2014 income and expenditure of the Fund Raising Events and concluded his speech by bringing to the attention of all present of the current plight of the only library at the Njala University College (NUC) and encourage all potential donors and alumni to contact Ms. Joanne Tommy with any help they may have for the Library Project. Dinner was also served while all these activities were going on and a video projector was showing the scholarship award ceremonies and the food distribution to Ebola Quarantined families in Freetown. Raising funds to award Scholarships to needy students in Sierra Leone has always been the major highlight of the UBBSL Fund Raising Dance for the past few years but this year the focus was the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.
Shortly after the President’s speech Dr. Princess Dougan was called upon to give tributes to the FALLEN MEDICAL DOCTORS AND PERSONNEL. The doctors honored on this night were: Dr. Sheik Khan, Dr. Aiah Konoyeima, Dr. Dauda Koroma, Dr. Modupeh Cole, Dr. Olivett Buck, Dr. Thomas Rogers, Dr. Godfrey George, Dr. Michael Kargbo, Dr. Martin Salia, Dr. Victor Willoughby and Dr. Sahr J. Rogers. The President Mr. Abdul Kassim presented “The Posthumous Prestigious Heroes” award honoring all 11 medical doctors who died while treating Eboloa Patients. Another Posthumous award was to recognize all the Nurses and medical support staff who lost their lives while caring for Ebola victims and the final posthumous award honored all Sierra Leones who succumbed to the Ebola disease.
Mrs. Isatu Timbo-Nwokedi received the awards on behalf of the Sierra Leone Government and Medical Board. She thanks the members of UBSSL for recognizing all the fallen heroes and promised that the award plauqes will be presented to the government in Freetown and the wish of UBSSL in placing the plaques in the Sierra Leone Museum or the office of the Medical Board will be respected. Also honored was Mrs. Yele Strasser-King recognized for her humanitarian leaderships in the Sierra Leone community in Southern California.
For the past years one of the major highlight that most of our guests have always looks forward to have been the cultural performances of the Ngorboi, Sowie and Hunting. As usual, everybody in the hall on that night including the senior citizens could not resist when the Hunting appeared to perform. To say that it was a success could be an understatement. It is quite obvious that every year, our guests and members will look forward to the performance of all these groups. Shortly after these performances, the guest was again given the opportunity to dance to some Sierra Leonean music.
On behalf of all members of UBSSL, we again wish to thank our special donors, patrons and guests. And for those who could not make it either for one reason or another, we must admit that we missed you all and wish to see you all next year. WISH YOU ALL GOD’S BLESSINGS AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS 2015.