Hawks International Toasts 25 Years, Eyes Future

Jared McCallister
Date Published: 
New York Daily News

IN its 25-year history, Hawks Club International has become a power to be reckoned with. The group's mas band captured an unprecedented third Band of the Year title at the West Indian American Day Carnival this year.

But Hawks' 25th anniversary Christmas award dinner-dance next Sunday won't be all merriment and frolic. Organization members are using this event, and their momentous anniversary, to reexamine the group's goals and make a difference by tackling social issues.

"We're quietly using the dinner-dance to redirect ourselves," said Desmond Chase, Hawks president. "Over the last few years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on the mas, and we want to redirect some of that energy to social issues. We need to redefine our mission to meet the demands of the community."

The dinner-dance will be held at Ricardo's of Astoria, 21-01 24th Ave. in Queens, starting at 6:30 p.m.

This year's honorees include Lord Pretender, for his notable contributions to calypso music; Jean Leon, executive director of Kings County Hospital Center and head of the Trinidad and Tobago Alliance; Jack Warner, for cultivating the Trinidad and Tobago national soccer team and bringing it to international prominence; Cheryl Byron for her commitment to storytelling, dance and African culture, and award-winning producer Colin Lewis, who works on the Fox TV show "The Si mpsons."

The Hawks will also pay tribute to the popular Bench-Warmers, the collaboration of musicians who use crude percussion instruments to keep the rhythm driving at fetes, bus rides, carnival celebrations and other occasions. Donation is $65 per person. Call (718) 287-4103 or (718) 856-6273.