PORT CHESTER, NY – The Port Chester/Rye branch of the NAACP held its first meeting of 2013 on Tuesday at the Carver Center. In her remarks to the group, the new branch president, Joan Grangenois-Thomas, said that the Harlem Quartet is scheduled to perform in Sleepy Hollow on April 20th and challenged attendees to find ways to fund a group of young people to see the performance. The quartet, which has performed for President and Mrs. Obama, will perform works of Mozart and Chick Correa, Beethoven and Wynton Marsalis. Rising to the call, out-going NAACP president, John Reavis and Rye Town Supervisor, Joe Carvin each committed to sponsor 10 young people to see the performance. The question now is how to transport the 20 teens to Sleepy Hollow. “This is truly what community is about,” said Grangenois-Thomas of the sponsorship. “This is a wonderful opportunity for some Port Chester students to see a professional, classical music performance and also get a little jazz in too! But what’s most important is for our kids to see that there is something they can aspire to. And when they witness that, they can develop an understanding and an appreciation for the need for civil rights which is what the NAACP is about.”
Tuesday night’s meeting was an “open house” for the community to meet the new officers and committee chairs. The public was also invited to stay for the regular membership meeting to learn more about the organization. John Reavis, who had been president for four years, was presented with proclamations for his contributions to the community by Supervisor Carvin, State Senator, George Latimer and County Legislator, David Gelfarb. Port Chester Mayor, Dennis Pilla was also scheduled to present Mr. Reavis with a proclamation but had a conflict in his schedule and was unable to attend. Pilla will present the proclamation to Mr. Reavis at the next meeting of the Village Trustees. Village Trustees Joe Kenner and Luis Marino represented the Village of Port Chester at the NAACP meeting.
The meeting was well attended. Ms. Grangenois-Thomas shared her vision of what the next year will bring. She cited the need for an advisor for the Youth Council and encouraged attendees to consider sitting on committees such as education, health and civic engagement, which she said was very important given the upcoming Village elections. She also announced that New Rochelle resident, Ted Shaw, former director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund will speak at the group’s next meeting, on Tuesday, February 5 at 7pm at the Carver Center.
For more information, contact Joan Grangenois-Thomas at 914-980-6160 or Grangenois@gmail.com.