VIP Belle Glade tour and visit to Children’s Center

Community leaders will discuss challenges and opportunities in western Palm Beach County

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News

PALM BEACH COUNTY — Community leaders in Palm Beach County are invited to attend a chartered VIP bus tour of the Belle Glade community, including a visit to the First Haitian Baptist Church Children’s Development Center, on Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Guests will meet (and park) at the Redeemer Lutheran Church, near downtown West Palm Beach, at 2300 S. Dixie Highway, four blocks north of Belvedere Road. The motor coach will leave promptly at 10 a.m. Lunch and entertainment are included. Guests will return to West Palm Beach by 2 p.m. There is no charge; however, seating is limited.

The event is being organized by the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller, Palm Beach Commandery (SOSJ) and the First Haitian Baptist Church Youth and Children’s Development Center in Belle Glade. It is expected that the mayor of Belle Glade, Steve Wilson, and other officials will be there to answer questions from the guests. Also, a proclamation will be given to Pastor Morales St. Hilaire for his decades of work to help the children in Belle Glade.

• 9:45 a.m. Meet at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Coffee and pastries will be provided.

• 10:45 a.m. Tour the community and downtown Belle Glade area.

• 11:30 a.m. Tour the 1940s building (200 S.W. Eighth Ave in Belle Glade) providing after-school and summer programs to 120-plus kids. Get to know these kids, needing a real chance at life. Enjoy music by the children and a picnic lunch provided by the First Haitian Baptist Church.

• 1:15 p.m. Return to West Palm Beach by 2 p.m.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
There will be a VIP Belle Glade tour and visit to a children’s center Saturday, Oct. 13. It will be hosted by the Sovereign Order of St. John, Palm Beach Commandery and the First Haitian Baptist Church of Belle Glade. For information, go to

The First Haitian Baptist Church Youth and Children’s Development Center, a 501(c)(3) organization, is planning to construct a new multipurpose facility in response to the growth and needs of the children in the Belle Glade community. The existing center is beyond repair. The old house, where children from kindergarten through eighth grade attend after-school care, is also too small to accommodate the more than 120 children who arrive every day.It is estimated that the $500,000 needed w ill include in-kind donations from the construction trades, private donations and corporate support. Funds are being raised by the church, the SOSJ and private individuals. This Belle Glade community center project is the focus for SOSJ members, whose mission is to help the sick and the poor.To register for the VIP Belle Glade Tour or get more information, go to or email Please register by Oct. 1 and note any dietary restrictions.

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