The Informer (Monrovia)

Liberia: 'My Birthday Is Dedicated to Liberia's Market Women,' - President Sirleaf

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf kicked off the celebration of her 75th Diamond Jubilee with a reception Monday evening hosted by the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, and its local chapter, Eta Beta Omega Chapter, at the new Level 1 Restaurant located on Tubman Boulevard, in Sinkor.

According to an Executive Mansion release, on hand to join President Sirleaf celebrate her 75th birth anniversary, along with Liberian well-wishers and family, were Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha, including the Rev. Dr. Elaine Flake, Co-Pastor of The Greater Allen African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Cathedral of New York; her equally famous husband and CEO of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, the Reverend Floyd Flake; members of their congregation; and members of The Links, Incorporated, another U.S. organization for women of color.

President Sirleaf, in her remarks, thanked everyone for coming to join in the celebration of her birth anniversary. She thanked the members of her AKA Sorority who had traveled the long distance, from the United States, to be with her on this occasion; She also thanked the supporters from other organizations, and the proprietor of the facilities.

The President said she had an obligation, working with the AKA, to ensure that this birthday was not just for having a good time to dance and sing and be merry; there was a need to give back to the people - many of them market women - who worked under poor conditions and circumstances. "My Birthday is dedicated to them," the President said to loud applause.

President Sirleaf said she hoped that people would turn out on Tuesday to interact with market women - see where and how they work, see who they are. She called upon the gathering to do all they could to help give Liberia's market women a better life. She wished everyone a great evening, and looked forward to seeing them at the birthday.

Welcoming the guests was the President of the Eta Beta Omega Chapter of AKA, Mrs. Dawn Cooper Barnes, who outlined the events to take place on October 29, the President's birthday, including the Thanksgiving Service at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion; the Children's Program at the Monrovia City Hall; followed by the ground-breaking and fund-raising program for the Omega Market to take place at the site in Paynesville.

The program included: invocation by Mr. T. Nelson Williams II, President of the Epsilon Eta Lambda Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; a video of Liberians extending birthday greetings to their President; music by a band and a selection by Ghanaian singer Ofie Kodjo.

The President ended the evening with a private dinner, at her residence, for members of the Forbes Philanthropy delegation visiting Liberia.

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