ASSOCIATIONS: A look back at the first Volunteer Gala


This Friday, December 9, the first edition of the Gala du Bénévolat organized by the Collectivité was intended to promote the associative commitment of volunteers in the area.

Evening dress required, the Villa des Lauriers at La Savane hosted the gala evening with a decoration for the occasion. As part of World Volunteer Day on December 5, Martine Beldor, in charge of community life at the Collectivity, was keen to highlight the women and men who work in the shadows and daily in the service of Saint-Martin. and its population, sometimes to the detriment of the happiness of their families, namely associations and volunteers. Sacrifice, dedication, self-sacrifice, abnegation and love of Saint-Martin are the terms taken up to characterize the guests present during the evening, people who deserve the respect shared by Louis Mussington, president of the Collectivité.

During her speech, Martine Beldor underlined the inestimable value of those who have chosen the associative path, an area where the search for volunteers can often prove to be a real obstacle course. Pure tool of inclusion, insertion, creation and development of employment, the association is by definition at the service of others... and animals, the enormous work of protection by the Collectif Animaux SXM has moreover was mentioned by the representative of community life during her speech, as well as the ambitious projects planned for next year such as the production of a directory of associations for March 2023, a device which will make it possible to further federate structures and pool resources such as the provision of equipment to associations. The evening also rewarded five figures from the voluntary sector with the awarding of the Medal of Honor for Volunteering in recognition of their active involvement in the region: Mark Yokoyama from Fruits de Mer, Keith Carty from the Marigot sports association, Jeremy Watt from Madtwoz Family Association supported by several young people from Sandy Ground, Andy Polynice from Swali'Tainment and Gaëtane Fleming from Forever Young. Art was also represented at this first volunteer gala with songs including the anthem of Saint-Martin and Joie'nita from the Soleil Caraïbes association, and the recitation of poems by Léon Noël, including the poignant "Togetherness". The volunteer gala continued late into the night with the promise of a second edition next year. _Vx

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