St. Maarten Students Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner in Tallahassee, Florida


 Tallahassee-St. Maarten Foundation Inc. (TLH-SXMF) Director Arthur Lugisse announced on Tuesday that Tallahassee Links Inc. and the City of Tallahassee continued to support St. Maarten students in presenting the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

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The Links Group of Women of Tallahassee of which City Manager Anita Favors Thompson is also a member, always take the opportunity at the thanksgiving dinner to present speakers on interesting topics for St. Maarten students. This year’s guests was Judge Peggy Quincy, who spoke on young students having children, and the consequences thereof, and that they should remember that child support exist in Tallahassee if so be the case. 

Judge Quincy also spoke about different laws existing in Florida, for instance the lemon law and criminal laws, rental laws, and sexual laws. Many students asked questions about rental and vehicle laws. Judge Quincy spoke about ‘Driving under the Influence’ (DUI) and advised them not to don’t drink and drive, as it could be so life threatening. The Judge also spoke on license suspension and car accidents, and pointed out never to leave the scene of an accident.
Judge Quincy gave students advice on different subjects of the law, one of the most important being the “Miranda rights to remain silent,” adding the first thing to do is call your parents and get a lawyer.
Ben Harris, Director of Minority Business of the Tallahassee Economic Department asked the question if you should agree to take a breath analyzer test,
everyone laughed but if you agree and you are over the limit you are going to jail. Harris has always been one of the key persons with City Manager Anita Favors Thompson and Mayor John Marks supporting the ongoing Sister City partnership between Tallahassee and St. Maarten.
The Links member Pharmacist Alexis McMillan spoke about health and also indicated that 65% of students drink alcohol and that there are negative consequences both by law and personal negative results. McMillan also spoke of healthy eating, diabetes and the constant need for exercise to prevent hypertension especially in people of color.
Past President Linda Dilworth asked the Lugisse family that was present to stand and take a bow for patriot Arthur Lugisse that started this movement and the relationship with the City and Links Inc.
Dilworth reminded the students that thanks to all the hard work that Lugisse has done they are able to study in Tallahassee and for them to study hard and make their Island proud.
“I was informed that a special thank you and applause was given to Ben Harris who has always been there for the partnership and our students and has also been the designated photographer and coordinator of all events. Cindy Peters and Lililita Johnson thanked everyone on behalf of St. Maarten and also showed appreciation to Links and the City for their continued efforts in sponsoring this event for St. Maarten students,” Arthur Lugisse said on Tuesday.
Michael Parker who heads the City Economic Department in Tallahassee and who has always been the one to make this event happen was not able to stay to have dinner because he had to drive his son to college but indicated that when he started this event his son was 9 years old and was in middle school today he is taking his son to college and can reflect how long this event has been ongoing and indicated that the City will always be there to support St. Maarten students and the partnership.
Cindy Peters also gave recognition and asked everyone to applaud and congratulate Dr. Cherissa Abdul-Hamid for her accomplishment in getting her
degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida where she did her final studies in Gainesville. 

Links then gave goody-bags as always to the St. Maarten students and thanked them for coming out as always. Links hopes to visit St. Maarten in the near future with their group and to meet with parents and Government officials.
They have requested TLH-SXMF to make the necessary contacts when a date is set. Links also acts as Moms away from home for St. Maarten students.
St. Maarten has been a sister city with Tallahassee since September 23, 1999 and over 50 students has graduated since then and presently are gainfully employed. Instate-tuition is the deciding factor making Tallahassee not only an affordable option but also a great and safe place to live, and has won the award as best City to live, in America, Arthur Lugisse concluded.