Autumn Breezes

autumn 2013Happy Monday, All!

Can we feel the blessings of change all around us? Have you ever wondered how creative and in tune with nature the Amerinds or Native Americans must have been to continue their culture until being “changed” by the arrival of Europeans? It was just a week or so ago that I was in my hometown of White Plains, NY waking up to the crisp chill caused by the changing of the season. Now, here in South Florida, such changes are much less obvious, though there is a change, too. Temperatures don’t drop as much but I often look forward to the evenings when I can open my windows and fall asleep comfortably. This is “Nature’s” way of reminding us that there are some things that we humans do NOT control – the changing of the seasons.

This past weekend was quite exceptional for me personally, though it didn’t “top”, so to speak, our impromptu reunion at my mother’s gravesite on the 14th of September, 2013. I am still in awe of how smoothly things went. Yet, this weekend, starting with Friday past, the Brahma Kumaris held an artist day of peace at Gallery 2014 on Harrison Street in Hollywood, FL. Our speaker was exceptional and the art work we witnessed with the theme of “peace” to highlight the acknowledgment of the International Day of Peace on Saturday, September 14th, 2013 was also quite thought provoking. Om shanti to Sister Veronica and the BK Florida as well as Gallery 2014.

Saturday evening was the Red Gala fundraising event of the Urban League of Broward County called “The Love Boat”. Everything at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Broward County Convention Center in and around the Floridian Ballroom embraced the theme of sailing on a ship! “Ahoy, me mates!” In addition to Sunshine Health, who donated somewhere in the area of 2 million dollars to the ULBC, there were many other sponsors and contributors. I had the pleasure of attending as I completed a “free lance” article for the and their efforts to include a Broward County “reporter” to cover events North of Miami. I had the pleasure of meeting Congressman Alcee Hastings who was awarded the Diversity Award by the group that had gathered there with the ULBC. Mr. Hastings is the first African American Federal Judge to hold office representing the State of Florida. In addition, two ladies of the Shirley Family whose father, Dr. Calvin Shirley – RIP, who is considered to be the first “black” doctor of Broward County who single-handedly tackled the problems facing Broward’s less affluent African American population, received the Humanitarian Award that evening! It was quite a Red Gala Event as everyone there, including Miami HEAT’S hometown “boy”, James Jones, enjoyed the ambiance, hors d’oeuvres, and a lavish sit down dinner. Tickets were $200, sponsorship began at $500 and numerous contributions and donations also came from a host of local sponsors who believe in the vision of the Urban League of Broward County, with their new location on 27th Street in Fort Lauderdale.

Are you feeling the “winds of change” in your life? May we never forget that change is indeed an integral part of the human experience, as well as the simple fact that we, too, are products of and subject to the call of Nature. Be well and embrace the change.


John I. Cook, Director

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