The 7th Annual Thanksgiving Mixer was a time to reconnect, network, acknowledge and mingle with friends and family at the Event Center, Friday night. Hosted by Angel McShane, this is one of 3 to 4 events given each year.
“Each year the Pensacola Reunion Committee promotes volunteerism and mentorship thus acknowledging those that continuously give back to the community by presenting the PRC Impact Award to those who have made an impact in the community,” said McShane. This year’s recipient was Hype, Ms. Sylvia Tisdale and Rance Jones Jr.
HYPE Pensacola, which stands for Helping Youth of Pensacola Endure, was founded by Shaun Hartsfield on November 12, 2013. Through life experiences Shaun envisioned an organization built around uplifting the youth of Pensacola to beat the odds of becoming another statistical stereotype. He envisioned an organization built around 3 priorities: education, community support, and athletics. Through this vision HYPE was born!
With the help of his board members: Michael Williams, Victoria Coleman, and Nichole West-Austin, HYPE has built a growing program throughout the Pensacola area. Since its creation, in 2013, HYPE has given back to the community through four annual events, which include, a school supply giveaway, a turkey giveaway, Toys for Tots, and an Easter egg hunt. On the educational side, we have started a mentoring program for students in grades 8-12, which offers tutoring and life skills courses twice a month at Pensacola High School. These courses offer life preparation skills, such as, saving money, job interview etiquette, applying for college, and resisting peer pressure, to name a few.
Through all of their programs HYPE’s main goal is to offer a program built on teaching children that they have options to be successful adults and the importance of supporting our community and the city of Pensacola. “We have made much progress since our start, and hope to create a mass following of people who “Believe the HYPE!” stated Hartsfield.
Ms. Sylvia Tisdale of EPPS Christian Center was acknowledged for her continuous efforts at feeding the homeless and providing free after school programs for high risk students.
Rance Jones Jr. was awarded for his volunteer services to our youth in the community and his efforts to educate our youth about the importance of staying in shape and eating healthy.
“We have over 800+ guests each year who travel in from all over the United States. The crowds consist mainly of people who are natives of Pensacola who return home for the holidays,” said McShann. We donate all proceeds back to the community via various ways and we assist a lot of non-profit organizations and Sports Associations sponsoring various youth sports programs. Nonetheless our mission is to highlight and support Black Owned Businesses. It is our belief that we must support Black Businesses if we are to combat the escalating rate of black unemployment”.
This year, two new black owned businesses served as our ticket outlets in the hopes that people would become familiar with the new business thus supporting them. Southern Quizine, 2301 N. Pace Blvd and 5 Star Cuts, 3505 N Palafox St, both black owned businesses appreciate the opportunity and revealed that it indeed helps them secure new customers.
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