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Tropical Shipping donation funds 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee

by | Apr 25, 2023 | Civic and Community Engagement, United States Virgin Islands | 0 comments

Tropical Shipping, a leading freight shipping company, presented a check for $20,175 to United States Virgin Islands Governor Albert Bryan Jr. (D) and the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee in a ceremony held at Government House on St. Croix. This donation represents the full amount requested to fund the Committee, demonstrating Tropical Shipping’s unwavering commitment to supporting the local community and fostering public-private partnerships. The committee was formed to oversee and create events, activities, awareness, and engagement pertaining to the 2023 celebrations to celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in the territory.

The Emancipation Commemoration Committee is well underway in utilizing the allocated budget to plan and execute a series of impactful events. The funds raised, including the donation from Tropical Shipping, will also go towards sponsoring grants and scholarships that provide Virgin Islands students and nonprofit organizations with opportunities to participate in training programs under the guidance of experts in education, cultural affairs, capital projects, research, data collection, and public displays.

This investment in local talent will not only promote artistic excellence but also contribute to the preservation and celebration of the territory’s cultural heritage for generations to come. Governor Bryan, who accepted the check on behalf of the Government of the US Virgin Islands, expressed his appreciation for the partnership between the Territory’s public and private sectors.

“Tropical Shipping’s donation is a shining example of how public-private partnerships can create meaningful change in our community. We are grateful for their generosity and commitment to making a positive impact,” the Governor said. Governor Bryan also expressed his enthusiasm for the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee’s plan to perpetuate the USVI’s culture and heritage.

“The 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee’s efforts in sponsoring grants and scholarships for our local students and non-profits is commendable,” the Governor said. “This investment in our youth will foster artistic and STEM talent, which will create opportunities for economic growth and cultural preservation in our community.”

Teri Helenese, Corporate Sponsorship Chair and Secretary of the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee said the public-private partnerships are an investment in the territory’s future in addition to helping preserve the community’s culture and heritage.

“We are excited to utilize the funds raised, including Tropical Shipping’s generous donation, to support grants and scholarships that will provide valuable opportunities for Virgin Islands students to develop their skills and contribute to the creation of meaningful sculptures and public displays,” she said. “As the Emancipation Commemoration Committee continues to work towards preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage, I am also excited to explore similar opportunities in the private sector. Together, with the support of corporate sponsors like Tropical Shipping, we can create lasting change and celebrate the rich history of our community,” Ms. Helenese said.

Carol Burke, Chairwoman of the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee, also expressed her gratitude to Tropical Shipping for its donation.

“On behalf of the Committee, I would like to thank Tropical Shipping, whose generous donation will enable us to provide valuable learning experiences for our students. This initiative aligns perfectly with our mission of celebrating our history and empowering our community’s future leaders,” she said.



William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-Jose Velez Gonzalez

William-José Vélez González is a native from Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, and a graduate from Florida International University in biomedical engineering, engineering management, and international relations. A designer with a strong interest in science, policy, and innovation, he previously served as the national executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association. William-José lives in Washington, DC, where he works at the Children's National Research Institute and runs Opsin, a nonprofit design studio dedicated to making design more accessible. You can see him on Love is Blind as Lydia's brother. He is the founder and Editor in Chief of Pasquines.


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