rafman club scholarship banquet

This past Saturday, a few of us at the foundation had the welcome pleasure of attending the 17th Annual RAFMAN Club Foundation and Valencia College Foundation Scholarship Banquet. The event was at the First Baptist Church of Orlando with Rev. Palmer Powell serving as mistress of ceremonies. The silent auction and raffle began at 6 p.m. and the program got underway at 7 p.m.

After dinner was served, guests were treated to an amazing poetry reading, “Polls,” written and performed by Shelby Birch, Mt. Pleasant M.B. Church and senior at Dr. Phillips High School. Her poem so moved guest speaker, Mayor Buddy Dyer, that he invited her to perform it at an election celebration later in the week. RAFMAN president, Mr. George Jordan, introduced the honorable Buddy Dyer. He shared the good news of our community, and gave special recognition to Valencia for being named the best community college in the nation!

Michael Dippy, executive director of IDignity received the RAFMAN Club’s 2012 Community Service Award. Dr. Martha Williams of Valencia’s Black Advisory Committee spoke about the Valencia experience.

And then it was on to the scholarship awards! Two scholarships were awarded, to Maxsill Gracia and Martravia Reed. Maxsill is pursuing her associate degree at Valencia and plans to continue her education in the field of fashion. Martravia is pursuing her A.S. in criminal justice and will go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in that field. It was a pleasure to share a table with these students and their families. Getting to know them a little better, it was easy to see why they were chosen as recipients. They both spoke eloquently of their goals and seemed ready to take on all the wonderful opportunities that the future holds.

The Retired Air Force, Marine, Army, Navy Club Inc., better known as the RAFMAN Club, began in 1974 as a social organization for retired servicemen. Though its membership is not limited to retired military men, the 19 members of the RAFMAN Club include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Members of the RAFMAN Club seek to provide faith, love and charity to the community; represent themselves as participants in an elite group; and share their military experiences with others. The RAFMAN motto makes their mission clear: Men striving together to make a better community for all concerned.

The RAFMAN Club is now a non-profit organization with a 501(c)3 that will help them better serve the Orlando area.

A special thank you to club president Mr. George Jordan and scholarship chairman Mr. Arthur Jarvis, and to all the members of RAFMAN Club. We appreciate your partnership in awarding scholarships to Valencia students!

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