Sixteen children along with seven adults residing at Fairbanks trailer site recently got a chance to visit the Big Apple.
The group, led by Cathrine Tyson and her band of assistants local artist Aston Ebanks, Gina Marshall, Carmelita Seymour, parent Evadne Brown and Tommy Ebanks, said the trip was a fabulous experience for the children.
‘These children needed a respite from their situations and New York provided just that. The looks on their faces with each new encounter was priceless and boosted their self esteem that someone cared.’
Ms Tyson said she knew some would ask what the correlation of a trip to New York had to do with permanent housing, but she said ‘One thing has nothing to do with the other. This trip was to give them an opportunity to travel and see something beyond the Cayman Islands plus these children needed a respite from their situations and New York provided just that.
‘The looks on their faces with each new encounter was priceless and boosted their self esteem.
‘Yes, they return to their trailers to live, but with a rich experience and memories that will last a life time and the thought that someone cares.
When asked why not Miami or somewhere closer, Ms Tyson explained that Miami is often only about shopping, Disney World or another theme park, but New York with all of its wonderful culture and theatres is no comparison.’
Seaford Russell, one of the children who reside at Fairbanks trailer site was excited to have gone to the Zoo, Leonardo Brown commented on the tall buildings. Aaron and Feliciana Mclean thought the hotel, Marriot Marquis, was very nice. Mentor, Carmelita Seymour got to know the children better and spend time with her own daughter Jhnae and her mentor student Vanessa Elliot.
Local Artist Aston Ebanks interested in introducing children to arts and culture felt that New York was a good choice. ‘These children are in such a situation and sometimes feel like no one is there for them.
Ms Tyson said all involved were willing to jump on board at the drop of a dime.
‘We can safely say that a chunk of the Big Apple was mighty tasty for those three days. The only problem the group encountered was that it ended a little too soon.’
During their stay in New York the group visited the Museum of Natural History, took in a Broadway production of Lion King and Mary Poppins, dined at Carmine’s Italian eatery toured Central park visited the Bronx Zoo and other establishments.
Sponsors were Maples and Calder, UBS, RBC, Lion’s Club, Foster’s Food Fair, Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital, No. 1 Shoe Shop, Winners Circle, A. Tomlinson’s Furniture Store, private sponsors and civil servants.