More than 300 people turned out earlier this month to celebrate Haitian Flag Day at the Thomas H. Slater Center in White Plains. The festivities were sponsored by the Slater Center and marked the first event organized by the Haitian Resource Center (HRC).
The Slater Center’s Jerome Bump Johnson Drum Corps set the tone for the event with a rousing ceremonial march, which was followed by remarks from White Plains Mayor Tom Roach and George Oros, chief of staff for Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino.
The Haitian National Anthem was sung by Valerie Bouilly and youngsters from the Haitian Resource Center’s after school enrichment program sand “Mon Drapeau” (My Flag) and shouted “Happy Flag Day!”
Slater Center Executive Director Heather Miller said she was “happy to be part of such a historic occasion and to see so many people coming out to celebrate their culture. Today, everyone is Haitian.”
It was Miller’s idea to start the resource center after she was unable to help someone fill out immigration documents because of the language barrier.
Entertainment for the day was provided by DJ Juicy Mix, the Cruz La Band and the Highly Humble Highly Hated Urban Fashion Show.
The French American School of New York made crepes and sponsored kids’ activities. Equipment and supplies were donated by Nicholas Wolff, who showed up to sell cotton candy, with proceeds going to the Resource Center.
A highlight was the presentation of the first HRC scholarship to Roselie Luctamer, a volunteer at the group’s after school enrichment program.
HRC hopes to run a summer youth program and is asking for donations. Checks can be made to the Thomas H. Slater Center/HRC, 2 Fisher Court, White Plains, NY 10601.