Family Resource Center celebrated its 2014 Peacemaker Awards at Prior-Jollek Hall at Antilles School on St. Thomas, Thursday evening. “The Annual Peacemaker Gala has the distinction of annually recognizing individuals in the Virgin Islands community, who by their passion and care for others demonstrate the essence of a peacemaker within our islands.” said Vivian St. Juste, Executive Director of Family Resource Center.
Family Resource Center Board President Raul Carillo noted that “annually the Board of Directors carefully selects individuals in our community that exemplify the values that our organization holds dear. We select honorees that we believe provide for our community more that within their professional roles. These persons enhance our community through actions of their daily lives.”
This year’s award recipients were Jeni Smith, Tom Bolt and Mulo Alwani. “We recognized them for their commitment to the Virgin Islands community,” St. Juste noted, “They have been influential in the lives of so many over several decades. Their determination to enhance the lives of others is evident, leading our agency to bestow the title of ‘Peacemaker’.”
Virgin Islands Governor John P. deJongh said that the 2014 honorees were “incredible role models in our community” and “have distinguished themselves by their “creative altruism” and “doing for others”.
The Governor noted that Tom Bolt and his wife, Jeni Smith, are one of the true “power couples” of the Virgin Islands. Attorney Bolt is Managing Attorney of BoltNagi PC, the law firm he established in 1990. He has been incredibly active in the American Bar Association serving on national committees and commissions concerned with diversity in legal education, homelessness and poverty, as well as host of other issues. He has been a Commissioner of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws since 1988 and served as President of the American Counsel Association and the Virgin Islands Bar Association. His involvement in local non-profit organizations has been legendary, serving as President of several local Rotary Clubs and as Chair of the Advisory Board for The Salvation Army and Chair of the Children’s Trust of the Virgin Islands.
Jeni Smith, works alongside her husband at the law firm of BoltNagi, where she serves as the Firm Administrator. Her roots are deeply imbedded in the Virgin Islands where she began her public service as a teenager teaching swimming for the American Red Cross at Magens Bay. She has served as President and Secretary of the Board at Antilles School, her alma mater, and as President of the Board of Directors of Family Resource Center. She also is a charter member of the Rotary Club of St. Thomas Sunrise where she served as President.
Mulo Alwani, a longtime retailer, owner of Artistic Jeweler, is one of the most industrious residents of the Virgin Islands. He currently serves as President of the India Association of the Virgin Islands and has been actively associated with Rotary International having served as President of the Rotary Club of Charlotte Amalie and as District Governor of District 7020. He has dedicated his time to other community non-profits including the Harmonic Lodge, Partners for Health, United Way of St. Thomas–St. John and the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce. His organizational and networking abilities helped propel him to the top “volunteer” posts in many of these groups. Mr. Alwani has earned the admiration of the community for his business acumen, civic involvement and willingness to help when and wherever needed.
During the course of the Peacemaker Gala, Ms. St. Juste called upon the community to support Family Resource Center. “The Peacemaker Gala remains the Family Resource Center’s key fundraiser. The funds generated at the Peacemaker Gala will keep us from having more victims to succumb in death to violent crime. The funds allow us to maintain needed services which include a 24 hour response team of volunteers and employees and a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault”, St. Juste said.
Family Resource Center is completing its 33rd year of service to the Virgin Islands. Its core mission is to deliver needed services to victims of crime in the Virgin Islands, with offices on St. Thomas and St. John, at no charge. The Center’s services to individuals and families are unique and are needed by members of the island community from all backgrounds. The availability of the Family Resource Center’s services sustains tourism, having a safe community and healthier relationships within families.