Published On: Fri, Mar 16th, 2018

Enough of the Politics, Give us Some Good News

By: C. Ron Allen

As I pen this column, I am smiling from ear to ear. My heart and mind are so relieved, I am ecstatic. Finally, after months of listening to friends hurl insults against each other in candidates’ forums, the caustic emails cluttering my box, once civil residents exposing each other’s dirty laundry, and campaign signs littering our streets, the 2018 municipal election is over. Yeah!

With that season in the rearview mirror, we can get back to reporting the good news in our communities.

We need not look hard to find the latest happenings. A group of men in Delray Beach has been meeting monthly to share ideas and come up with solutions to improve their community and help each other professionally. “Men Talk” meets on the first Friday of each month at the Fairfield Inn on West Atlantic Avenue.

Delray Beach resident Chris Ceasar’s vision was to use the forum to empower young men with tools to navigate the challenges they face every day. At a recent meeting, they got a chance to bounce ideas off each other and learn from some of the “seasoned leaders” in the community. Among the powerhouses present were long-time radio disc jockey and businessman James Thomas, who helped launch the careers of many prominent media personalities, retired NFL cornerback Brandon Flowers and Delray Beach Community Improvement Director Michael Coleman, who has given many local residents a new lease on life through employment. Among the many topics, they discussed were wealth management, preparing yourself for success, giving back and mentoring.

To show their commitment, some of the men, including Ceasar’s older brother, Bill Ceasar, have been mentoring a young man who had an interest and showed promise as a boxer.

Bruce Laster, 21, lost both parents a few years ago and had not identified any role models to emulate. He was determined. He made time to prepare between working at a hotel in Boca Raton and at a fast food restaurant in Boynton Beach.

Chris Ceasar recalls looking out his window at 3 a.m. and there was Laster punching a bag or running three miles to the beach and back.

They told him if he wanted to be the best in boxing, the hotel and restaurant gig would not cut it.

So they reached out to their contacts, dug into their pockets and raised enough money to send him off to Las Vegas Wednesday night, where he will train at the famed Mayweather Boxing Club for a month.

The men saw a young man with unlimited potential and threw their arms around him. As he embarks on another phase of his career, I hope he takes this experience with him and pay it forward wherever he calls home.

Another young man who already is showing gratitude to his community is Brisly Estime, a graduate of Atlantic High and Syracuse University who now plays for the New York Jets. He recently sponsored a kickball tournament at Merritt Park, which drew several segments of the city together.

Christopher Haynes said he was very impressed and happy to see the different sections of the community, including the police, firefighters and former gang members, playing together for a good cause.

“We all come from different walks of life and even though we have our differences in our personal lives, we can still get together for one of our own and support him for what he is doing,” said Haynes, the disc jockey from Beach Boys Entertainment and a local educator.

C. Ron Allen can be reached at crallen@Delraybeachtribune.com or 561-665-0151.

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