White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators marked Caribbean-American Heritage Month on Monday, June 17, with a special ceremony honoring three community figures.

New Rochelle artist and restauranteur Alvin Clayton, Executive Director of HELP USA Mount Vernon Khreme Tony Laud, and Hastings-on-Hudson artist Madge Scott were each recognized for their contributions to the community, receiving Board proclamations and announcement of County days in their honor.

Legislators Damon Maher (D - Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe) and Terry Clements (D – New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) presented a proclamation to Alvin Clayton, artist and restaurateur/owner of Alvin & Friends in New Rochelle, which offers contemporary cuisine with Caribbean and Southern flavors as well as live music in an environment decorated by his own Matisse-inspired oil paintings.

“It’s been an amazing journey, living the American Dream,” said Clayton, who came to the United States from Trinidad. “This country has given us so much when we come here as immigrants, and it’s what America is about and I’m very proud to be a Trinidad-American and have the opportunity to give back.”

Legislator Lyndon Williams presented a proclamation to Khreme Tony Laud. Laud, who moved with his family to the US from Jamaica in the 1980s, has had a nearly 20 year career at HELP USA Mount Vernon, an organization which provides transitional housing and a range of supportive services to formerly homeless families and has the capacity to house up to 46 families at a time. He is currently Executive Director there.

Laud thanked his family and his co-workers at HELP USA, formerly known as WestHELP Mount Vernon; and he also thanked the Westchester County Department of Social Services “for entrusting the families to my care each day.”

Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky (D - Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington), presented a proclamation to Madge Scott, an award-winning artist of international history and folk art whose work is influenced by her Jamaican roots and focuses on historical figures who played major roles in Jamaica’s emancipation from slavery. Madge is also a dedicated volunteer and humanitarian who gives back to many Jamaican and local community efforts.

Scott said, “We must leave an indelible mark wherever we go. We must leave this world a better place to be for those coming behind.”

(L to R: Majority Leader Catherine Parker; Chair Ben Boykin; Alvin’s wife, Gwen; Alvin Clayton; Alvin’s son and daughter, Oliver and Bella; Leg. Terry Clements, Leg. Damon Maher; Photo: Jaevon Boxhill)

(L to R: Scott Havelka, Dir. of Programs & Services, The LOFT Community Center; two friends from Madge Scott’s alma mater; Chair Ben Boykin, Madge Scott, Majority Whip MaryJane Shimsky, Westchester Pride Lions members Neil Lavey and Ray Terone; Photo: Jaevon Boxhill)

(Family, friends and HELP USA Mount Vernon staff with, L to R: Board Chair Ben Boykin, Khreme Tony Laud and Leg. Lyndon Williams; Photo: Jaevon Boxhill)