By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
THE Bahamas Diamond Eagle Foundation has honoured eight men for their commitment and dedication to youth development in Grand Bahama.
The honorees were Kevin Tomlinson, director of the Grand Bahama Youth Choir; Rev Lindy H Russell of Eight Mile Rock; Darrin Rolle, pastor and educator; retired educator Dr Cecil Thompson; businessman Frank Outten; Pastor Omeko Glinton; Fred Delancey of Total Education Centre; and engineer Ronald Dames.
An awards banquet under the patronage of Bishop Cardinal and Lady Minerva McIntosh at Le Chateau on the Green on June 18.
Mr Tomlinson, a gifted musician and songwriter, is the founder/director of the well known Grand Bahama Youth Choir. He developed a gift for music and songwriting at an early age, and has composed the official songs for several schools, including A F Adderley Secondary School, Temple Christian High, Sister Mary Patricia Russell Junior School and Lucaya International School.
Mr Tomlinson is the recipient of several prestigious awards. In 2012, he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award - the highest recognition given from the Rotary Club International organsation for his unwavering commitment and devotion to positive transformational youth empowerment work. And in 2014, he was recipient of the National Youth Ally Award from the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture.
Rev Russell is the former MP for Eight Mile Rock and minister of religion at Central Zion Baptist Church. He has also been a positive influence on young people through his involvement in various activities. He was director of West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association; director of Grand Bahama Amateur Baseball Association in 1987; Founder/Coach of GB Lakers/BORCO Panthers Baseball Club; former president of Zion United Baptist District Youth Council; former president of Mt Zion Baptist Youth Ministry; and Founder/former president of West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association.
Mr Rolle, associate pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church and vice principal of Tabernacle Baptist Academy, has founded and directed the Falcons Boys Club for the past 19 years.
The organisation has mentored over 2,000 young men from Grand Bahama and over 800 young men in New Providence and San Salvador.
He has been recipient of many Ministry of Youth Awards for leadership, the Paul Harris Award from Rotary International, and was selected as Jones Communication Leader of the Year. He is also founder of One Day Conference Call which has helped boys for the past 10 years.
Dr Thompson has spent 44 years in education. He held several positions in the Ministry of Education before retiring in 2013. He was also under secretary in Ministry of Grand Bahama.
Mr Thompson has received a number of prestigious honours during his career for outstanding performance in education and the community at large. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Human Letters from BWR Ministries in Richmond, Virginia, the Cacique Award by the CEO Network, the Bahamas Toastmaster Club Award, the Paul Harris Fellow Award by Rotary International.
He is an Anglican and has been the Priest Warden of the Pro-Cathedral of Christ the King for 30 years.
Mr Delancy, an educator and coach has shaped the lives of many students in the Bahamas. With Rev Russell he created the West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association providing spiritual, cultural, sporting, social and leadership guidance to many young people over the last 24 years.
Mr Delancy also impacted many young people through vocational training at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute and later started and founded Total Education Center, which positively impacts the lives of thousands of young people.
Mr Dames is founder of Operation Encouragement Top Achievers programme. He also contributed his time as Programme Manager of Junior Achievement Grand Bahama.
Mr Dames is project engineer at PharmaChem Technologies and a part-time lecturer at the College of The Bahamas. He also leader of the Gospel Group Decision.