Sister to Sister Sponsors 90th Birthday Celebration for The Queen Mother: Hon. Pearl C. Quarles
On Sunday March 28th, 2021 Sister to Sister International (STSI) sponsored a virtual 90th Birthday Salute to the Hon. Queen Mother Pearl Christian Quarles to commemorate her Birthday on March 29th, 2021.
More than 120 STSI board and members, family, friends, elected officials, as well as organizational and religious representatives, from all over the world joined the zoom tribute!
The program fit for a Queen Mother included a WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS by Ms. Zenobia Kelly, STSI Board Member & Membership Chair. In addition to welcoming our esteemed guests, she noted that STSI began as a family group in 1994 with a mission to link woman and girls of African descent globally to the resources that connect, advance, and strengthen them. Following was a poignant PRAYER FOR THE OCCASION by Rev. Marcia White-Smith, STSI Board Member & Organizational Effectiveness Co-Chair, then a TRIBUTE IN SONG entitled Superwoman by Alicia Keys, sung beautifully by Maya Smith, STSI Generation Y & Z Ambassador.
The love continued to exude from the STSI family with a mesmerizing TRIBUTE IN DANCE, to the song “How I Got Over” by Mahalia Jackson, ministered and performed by Vera Cheek, STSI Board Member & Financial Secretary.
The program continued with a special tribute by STSI Founder & CEO, Cheryl Brannan entitled IN THE BEGINNING. Ms. Brannan noted that the Hon. Pearl C. Quarles was both a Queen Mother and Honorable member of the community. As in Africa, she was a Queen mother who is revered in the village and society and is influential in making things happen. As an inaugural Board Member, the Queen Mother has supported STSI’s efforts over the years related to youth especially and fundraising on their behalf with our STEAM Program. She has also assisted in recruiting board members, served as parliamentarian and has always been a committed worker. As an honorable member of the community, she was the first Black to be elected to the New Rochelle Board of Education, in addition to being a first elected to serve as a representative of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, along with many other firsts in service to many organizations and boards. She has also received many awards, too numerous to note here. Ms. Brannan expressed her heartfelt appreciation for her serving as a role model and staunch supporter of both, she and STSI, over the years.
SPECIAL TRIBUTES were shared by many including the Christian Quarles Family, led by her daughter Donna Quarles and brother Ernest Quarles, Jr. and his family, along with members of the Christian Quarles family from all over the world.
Numerous elected officials paid tribute to the Hon. Pearl C. Quarles including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins; Senator Shelley Mayer; Assemblyman Steve Otis; County Executive George Latimer; Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins; Vice Chair of the County Board of Legislators, Alfreda Williams; County Legislator Terry Clements; Supervising & Supreme Court Judge Kathie Davidson; Judge Delores Brathwaite Greenburgh Town Court; Greenburgh Town Clerk Judith Beville; Councilwoman Yadira Ramos, to name a few.
Community & Organizational Representatives including Minister Mark McLean, New Rochelle NAACP President, Jewel Williams Johnson, President of the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus, Rev. Allen Paul Weaver, Bethesda Baptist Church; Shevon Holder, New Rochelle Chapter President (WBWPC) and a host of friends, also paid tribute.
STSI’s 90 BIRTHDAY TOAST was proposed by Germaine Scott, STSI Board Co-chair and a Happy Birthday Slide Show of Photos & Music, by Jhinelle Walker, STSI’s STEAM Program Consultant was presented to the tune of Stevie Wonders Happy Birthday Song. The viewers were singing, clapping and sending best wishes to the honoree.
The SPECIAL STSI GIFT PRESENTATION was presented by Cheryl Brannan, STSI Founder & CEO and Zelda Strong, STSI Board Co-chair. The gift is a custom-made gold broach in the essence of the ankh, an ancient symbol of life, which is STSI’s logo. The beautiful broach augments Pearl C. Quarles many pendants and dawns her birthstone. It was especially made for the Queen Mother!
Finally, that moment that all had been waiting for the opportunity to hear GUEST OF HONOR REMARKS from the Honorable Queen Mother Pearl Christian Quarles. Overjoyed and overwhelmed with the outpouring of support, she addressed the group highlighting how God has ordered her steps and reiterated her commitment to family and community. She also credited her early interest in community outreach to her mom whom she witnessed as a young girl being an activist in their southern community. She also lauded the many leaders of her church that encouraged and inspired her leadership. The Honorable concluded her remarks stating that she would acknowledge the many gifts of love and floral arrangements for all who included contact information and that she was eternally grateful.
The Open Floor for Tributes continued until all had the opportunity to share.
Special thanks go to the STSI team who spearheaded the event, Cheryl Brannan, Zenobia Kelly, Zelda Strong, Germaine Scott, Vera Cheek, Sayidana Brannan Douglas, Jhinelle Walker, Millie Stewart, and Janelle Wallace; along with Donna Quarles, and the Christian Quarles family for all their support of this auspicious occasion.