The Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. marked the completion of the first of four classroom buildings that will constitute the new COHH elementary school with a dedication to the Greenberg Traurig LLP law firm on October 22, 2016 at an outdoor ceremony in Hinche, Haiti. The event was attended by over 200 invited guests, included the children and staff at COHH. Among those present were Jonel Jean-Baptiste, the Mayor of Hinche, Pastor Emmanuel St. Juste, the Chairman of COHH, Kelly Eplee, the Executive Director of the Building Goodness Foundation, James L. Lipscomb, the Chair of the COHH Advisory Board and Steve Davis of Thrive Architects, the designer of the classroom building. The ceremony was quite moving for all involved and it showed through their expressions of hope for the future of the children at COHH. The parents spoke about COHH being answered prayer for their children and their families. Graysson Cene, the 5th grade student representative, surprised everyone with an eloquent speech about the learning experience at COHH that would be enhanced by the new clssrooms. He received a standing ovation for his remarks.
At the dedication segment James Lipscomb spoke about COHH's relationship with Greenberg Traurig over a 12-year period. James said, "This day belongs to all of us – from the children who can now go to school to the staff with the best school facility in Hinche. This is all possible because of the ongoing support and assistance of Dan Ansell and the Greenberg Traurig firm. Over the years, we have been through some difficult days. Throughout those years the Greenberg Traurig firm has remained at our side. Today, we say to Dan and the firm, “Thank you for being our friends.” James then emphasized the need for other donors to step up to help complete the school project. "We have set a clear example of fiscal responsibility and transparency with the first phase being completed on time and under budget. We need broad-based support like that provided by Greenberg Traurig to complete the school," said James.
A reception followed the ceremony and everyone had the opportunity to go through the classrooms and enjoy refreshments until sundown. The building did not go dark at sundown, but suddenly took on a new dimension with aesthetic lighting. This too was a milestone for COHH, having first arrived at the site 12 years ago when there was no utilities at the site and now a thoroughly modern functioning classroom facility lit up the darkness. For this honor, we give God the glory for the great things He has done in the life of COHH.