Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here tonight, as Commancheros New York Support Organization (CNYSO) observes its 20th anniversary. I am indeed delighted that so many of you have joined us here tonight in the celebration of this milestone.

Commancheros New York Support Organization (CNYSO), an independent not-for-profit organization, began its journey in September 1993 with four (4) clear and distinct purposes. That of providing financial assistance to the LIME Commancheros Steel Orchestra (Cheros) in Grenada; providing moral support to members of “the band”; providing an avenue for members and supporters to socialize and fraternize with each other; and to provide support to causes deemed necessary by its membership.

As with many voluntary Organizations after its formation, the pursuing years were filled with bumps and bruises, challenges and mistakes, high points and low points, internal struggles and varying levels of active membership. However we have persevered and remained focused and happy am I indeed to today proudly say that during the course of its 20 years, our Organization (CNYSO) has remained steadfast to its intended purposes.

Two decades later, and due to the unwavering support and kindness of the communities of people in New York, we can with great pride say to you that approximately $80,000 dollars in support and contributions have being made to Commancheros Steel Orchestra and numerous Organizations in Grenada and the Diaspora, some of which are listed in the brief history of the group in the pamphlet circulated her tonight.

As we begin the journey of the next decade, and in keeping with our motto “keeping our culture alive ” , we do so with a renewed commitment and emphasis will be on the increased involvement of the youth who are now endowed with the responsibility of carrying on the legacy of CNYSO. We ask for your continued support and prayers as we recognize that without you none of this will be at all possible.

Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to express my congratulations to all the awardees here tonight whose nominations were unanimous. They have all in their individual way contributed to the foundation, growth and development of the Commancheros fraternity. Their contributions are indeed invaluable and worthy of recognition.

I thank you.

Raymond Layne.