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Since the inception of the FireFighter Leon W. Smith Jr. Foundation on October 3, 2004 at the Saint Mary Church of Christ, many functions and events were held to raise funds to ensure the goals of this foundation continue. Keeping the dream alive means some young man or young lady will receive assistance in attending the college of their choice, or assist with the required college fees, enable a single parent the means to pay to take a city exam or to assist those students who are in college but need help paying for books , etc. This is what the foundation seeks to accomplish and has for the past seven years.

An Annual Benefit Luncheon is held each spring where former and current recipients are introduced to their supporters and allowed to share their experience about how the Foundation has helped them in pursuing their education.
The most recent luncheon was held on June 19, 2010 at the Greater Saint Mary Church of Christ where over 100 people were in attendance. This luncheon was different from the earlier ones for several reasons. One, number of people in attendance was the largest and secondly, we were able to acknowledge with great pride the first two graduates who were benefactors of the Foundation; Holly Googe and Shantel Davis.

Holly Googe graduated from the University of Maryland where she majored in dance. Holly, who is an aspiring dancer, gave a liturgical dance presentation demonstrating such grace and skills. She expressed thanks for the support she received from FF Leon W. Smith, Jr. Foundation; her mother, Ms.Nadine Simmons and Love Fellowship Church family.

Shantel Davis graduated from CUNY- Brooklyn College with a BS degree in Psychology. Shantel described her journey from high school thru college including the ups and downs she experience along the way but she stayed the course.
She expressed her gratitude to the F F Leon W. Smith, Jr. Foundation for accepting her as a recipient of their scholarship fund which allowed her to see her goals come to fruition. Shantel is also grateful for the support and prayers she received from her mother, Mrs. Marsha Davis-Griffin, family /friends and the Greater Saint Mary Church family.

Another highlight of the luncheon was the recognition and honor of four of Leon's Firefighters' brothers/sister for their dedication and bravery. They received a plague with the following inscriptive:

The Fire Fighter Leon W. Smith, Jr. Service Award is bestowed upon
Capt. PAUL WASHINGTON (his wife accepted in his absence),

for his/her commitment and dedication towards his/her fellow Fire Fighters and the community of Brooklyn.

Many have been touched by your selflessness and acts of kindness.
We pray that God continues to bless and protect you.
Fire Fighter Leon W. Smith, Jr. Foundation
Deacon Craig E. Pogue, Chair
Mrs. Brenda L.Watts-Larkins, Co-Chair
Saturday, June, 19, 2010

Ms. Tanisha Newton graced us with one of her insightful poems called, "BETTER IS COMING" which was so appropriate for the occasion.
Ms. Nadine Simmons (mother of Holly Googe) was our psalmist for the day singing songs of Zion as we dined. She also is an author of "Faith Reclaimed, A Single Parent's Journey Out of Darkness". She shares with her readers about being a single parent. Following our brunch Ms. Simmons autographed books and gave a donation to the scholarship fund from books that were sold that afternoon.

Mr. Craig Pogue and Mrs. Irene Smith, mother of FF Leon W. Smith, gave the closing remarks. Mrs. Smith expresses her gratitude for such large outpouring of love and support. Special thanks to the Foundation committee and Leon's brothers at FDNY who continues to support her in all her endeavors and she is very grateful.

Current recipients of the FF Leon W. Smith, Jr. Foundation are:

Donnell L. Sutton

Delaware State University, Delaware

Darlene P. Hindsman

Pace University, NYC

Zivon N. Hunter

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, NYC

Cynthia Hayes

St. Francis University, Brooklyn, NY

Thomas D. Beuford

Brown University, New Hampshire

Earlene Toole

Adelphi University,NYC

Josiah Butler

City College, NYC