Sophisticated Gents of Florida

 Fellowship and Scholarship Uplifting Our Youth For A Brighter Future

                                                                                                                                                                                      Donate Button

THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER                                                                                                             

 The New Normal?

While the nation tries to shake itself free from a natural crisis which has claimed in excess of 300,000 lives, we will have to come to grips with the realization that until we have a vaccine for Covid-19; we are going to have to learn how to live in a new “Normal”. That means people of color, because of our socio-economic situation, will have to be especially careful if we want not to fall ill to this virus. A crowd lingered after the memorial service for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Thursday.So now, in addition to Covid-19, we are still grappling with that same old, four hundred year old problem of racism. “We” know its ALWAYS been there. Its been cleaned-up, polished-up, and "lurking"in the “Down Low”; but we knew! When other folk talk about having “That Talk” with their sons; “That Talk” takes on a whole new dimension with "Our Folk”. True, video has, indeed, been somewhat of a “Game Changer”. But even with video, equal treatment is still not a “Slam Dunk” for us. I absolutely hate the “rioting", "burning", and destruction of other people’s property that  went on. It pained me to see a Black business owner, with tears running down his cheeks, watch his life savings go up in flames! That ,by the way, could be said for ANY business owner! While we may live in the Villages or comparable nearby communities, we know that we are not that far removed from "those" neighborhoods. Most of us were raised in "those" neighborhoods! The great separator for everyone is education; and here again access is unequal.   Education is the key to a truly "New Normal".

                                   THIS IS WHY WE PAY IT FORWARD WITH OUR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM...

We Care- AL Jenkins-President       


WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO!  (Powerful Video)   ray-mcguire-to-leave-citigroup-to-run-for-mayor-of-new-york.html


A DIVERSE representation of residents from the community along with members from:The Sophisticated Gents,The African American Club,The Spanish American Club and the Villages Rotary Clubs held a vigil at Sumter Landing within the Villages. Approximately 400 were in attendance.                   

         Systemic Racism Video Part One

        Systemic Racism Video Part Two


                                                                       VIDEO LINK TO A PORTION OF THE  ACTUAL EVENT

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2020 Friendship Golf Tournament 

It is with deep regret to inform you that this year’s Friendship Golf Tournament scheduled for November 7, 2020 is cancelled due to concerns surrounding the worldwide pandemic and the effects of COVID – 19. The Sophisticated Gents of Florida and our partner organization TAAC includes an age group determined to be most vulnerable to the ravages of the corona virus. This and the ever-increasing cases within the state of Florida prompted the Friendship Golf Tournament Leadership Team and the executive boards of the two organizations to err on the side of caution and forego holding this year’s tournament.

I know many of you have looked forward to participating in this annual event, but keep in mind the tournament is but one piece of an over-arching scholarship fund-raising initiative. The pandemic has presented us some new challenges. However, we are fully committed to move forward with our fund-raising drive to support scholarships for the local area high school graduating class of 2021. We aim to do so by utilizing traditional means of outreach to club members and business owners who have supported the tournament in the past, and by leveraging the advantages of social media.

Although the tournament will not occur as scheduled, let us not forget that our primary focus should be to provide a means by which our local high school graduates can live out their dreams of pursuing higher education. Through the grace of the Almighty and your financial contribution, we can achieve that goal.

Remember -

There is NO amount too small or too large to contribute. Please donate on either this or our Facebook Site above today! The donation button is below.

Allen C Jenkins, President


Local organizations stepped forward to raise money and help the Sumter County Supervisor of Elections Office.The program allows groups to staff a voting site, but instead of keeping their wages, the money earned goes to charities. 

              GENTS IN MOTION


Raven Muse 2019 Scholarship Recipient  (Video Link)  

 Donate Button

  Additional Outreach


                            (African American Club Link)

                           THE  BROTHERHOOD 

      2019 SCHOLARSHIP


 Veterans Day 2020

Patriotism on Display


We are committed to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions

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Our Mailing Address:
     Sophisticated Gents of Florida
     P.O. Box 157
     Lady Lake, FL 32158-0157

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Sophisticated Gents of Florida is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 

 Men Of Distinction Awards!  (2020) 


Dan Dildy


Treasurer-William Jackson

William Munnerlyn

Media/Web Administrator

 Reggie Hayes "Gent" Photographer

                                                                                            GENT GEMS By-Dan Dildy

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  • 01/02/2021 9:41 PM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

    Creating new habits takes time and energy. A new behavior won't become automatic overnight, but you may enjoy some of its benefits fairly quickly. Also, as you start to take walks regularly or engage in stress-soothing practices frequently, you'll find you won't feel quite right if you stop. That's a great incentive to continue. So, keep nudging yourself in the direction you'd like to go. And try the following seven tips to help you create long-lasting change.

    1. Dream big. Audacious goals are compelling. Want to compete in a marathon or triathlon? Lose 50 pounds or just enough to fit into clothes you once loved? With perseverance, encouragement, and support, you can do it. An ambitious aim often inspires others around you. Many will cheer you on. Some will be happy to help in practical ways, such as by training with you or taking on tasks you normally handle in order to free up your time.

    2. Break big dreams into small-enough steps. Now think tiny. Small steps move you forward to your ultimate goal. Look for surefire bets. Just getting to first base can build your confidence to tackle — and succeed at — more difficult tasks. Don't disdain easy choices. If you start every plan with "Make list," you're guaranteed to check one box off quickly. That's no joke: a study on loyalty programs that aim to motivate consumers found giving people two free punches on a frequent-buyer card encouraged repeat business. So break hard jobs down into smaller line items, and enjoy breezing through the easy tasks first.

    3. Understand why you shouldn't make a change. That's right. Until you grasp why you're sticking like a burr to old habits and routines, it may be hard to muster enough energy and will to take a hard left toward change. Unhealthy behaviors like overeating and smoking have immediate, pleasurable payoffs as well as costs. So, when you're considering a change, take time to think it through. You boost your chance of success when the balance of pluses and minuses tips enough to make adopting a new behavior more attractive than standing in place. Engaging in enjoyable aspects of an unhealthy behavior, without the behavior itself, helps too. For example, if you enjoy taking a break while having a smoke, take the break and enjoy it, but find healthier ways to do so. Otherwise, you're working against a headwind and are less likely to experience lasting success.

    4. Commit yourself. Make yourself accountable through a written or verbal promise to people you don't want to let down. That will encourage you to slog through tough spots. One intrepid soul created a Facebook page devoted to her goals for weight loss. You can make a less public promise to your partner or child, a teacher, doctor, boss, or friends. Want more support? Post your promise on Facebook, tweet it to your followers, or seek out folks with like-minded goals online.

    5. Give yourself a medal. Don't wait to call yourself a winner until you've pounded through the last mile of your big dream marathon or lost every unwanted ounce. Health changes are often incremental. Encourage yourself to keep at it by pausing to acknowledge success as you tick off small and big steps en route to a goal. Blast your favorite tune each time you reach 5,000 steps. Get a pat on the back from your coach or spouse. Ask family and friends to cheer you on. Look for an online support group.

    6. Learn from the past. Any time you fail to make a change, consider it a step toward your goal. Why? Because each sincere attempt represents a lesson learned. When you hit a snag, take a moment to think about what did and didn't work. Maybe you took on too big a challenge? If so, scale back to a less ambitious challenge, or break the big one into tinier steps. If nailing down 30 consecutive minutes to exercise never seems to work on busy days, break that down by aiming for three 10-minute walks — one before work, one during lunch, one after work — or a 20-minute walk at lunch plus a 10-minute mix of marching, stair climbing, and jumping rope or similar activities slipped into your TV schedule.

    7. Give thanks for what you do. Forget perfection. Set your sights on finishing that marathon, not on running it. If you compete to complete, you'll be a winner even if you wind up walking as much as you run. With exercise — and so many other goals we set — you'll benefit even when doing less than you'd like to do. Any activity is always better than none. If your goal for Tuesday is a 30-minute workout at the gym, but you only squeeze in 10 minutes, feel grateful for that. It's enough. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

  • 12/20/2020 10:54 AM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)


  • 12/20/2020 10:33 AM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

    Joseph Charles Jenkins (1914-1959)

    Joseph Charles Jenkins, the first African American Coast Guard Naval Officer, paved the way for the beginning of desegregation in the United States Coast Guard. Jenkins was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1914. Unfortunately, there is little information regarding his childhood.

    He began studying at the University of Michigan in 1933 where he was the only African American in the engineering department. He was also affiliated with Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African American Greek letter fraternity. Jenkins graduated in 1937 with a degree in civil engineering. Shortly after graduating, he began working for the Michigan State Highway Department as a highway design engineer. During his time with the highway department, he earned a graduate degree in business administration from Wayne State University.

    In the late 1930s, with the U.S. facing another world war, Jenkins helped organize what would become the 1279th Combat Engineer Battalion of the Michigan National Guard, which as the law stated at the time was a racially segregated unit.

    On June 15, 1942, Jenkins entered the U.S. Coast Guard as a boatswain’s mate first class. He excelled early on and was promoted to chief petty officer within a month of enlisting. On September 1, Jenkins would become the first African American warrant officer. He was also a recruiter for the Detroit area, mainly focused on enlisting more African Americans. Jenkins applied to the reserve officers training course in New London, Connecticut. He received numerous recommendations from University of Michigan faculty and his commanding officers to support his application, citing his excellent leadership skills and intelligence.

    Jenkins completed the training course on April 14, 1943, and earned an officer’s commission, making him the first officially recognized African American Coast Guard Officer. In December of 1943, the USS Sea Cloud was commissioned as the first deliberate test of the impact of a desegregated crew operating a ship. The Sea Cloud was a weather patrol ship, running scientific missions mainly along the North Atlantic. Jenkins served as navigation officer and, while doing so, earned a promotion to lieutenant junior grade. He served on the Sea Cloud until late 1944, when the ship was decommissioned. High-ranking naval officers considered the Sea Cloud a success in desegregating crews, leading to further experiments surrounding crew integration.

    After leaving the Sea Cloud, Jenkins in 1945 was assigned to the USS Hoquiam. This ship was the second test of a desegregated crew, and Jenkins would serve as a ranking officer. The ship was decommissioned later in 1945, and was more evidence in support of desegregating ship crews.

    In 1945 Jenkins left active duty for reserve duty, and returned to Michigan. For two years, he served in the African American Engineering Unit of the Michigan National Guard, earning the rank of captain. In 1947 he returned to the State Highway Department, working as the assistant director of the metropolitan Detroit area. He would work there until his death.

    Joseph Charles Jenkins died in Detroit, Michigan on July 8, 1959 at the age of 45. of kidney failure, organ transplants were not common at the time. He was survived by his wife, Hertha, and their three children.

  • 12/20/2020 10:31 AM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)


  • 12/20/2020 10:28 AM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)


  • 12/19/2020 9:11 PM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

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  • 12/19/2020 9:09 PM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

    Samuel Eli Cornish (1795-1858)

    Samuel Eli Cornish, an abolitionist and editor, was born in Sussex County, Delaware in 1795, although the specific day and month are unknown.  He was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New York City, New York.  Since both of his parents were free African Americans, Cornish was born free.  After graduating from the Free African School in Philadelphia, Cornish began training to become a Presbyterian minister and was ordained in 1822.  Shortly afterward he moved to New York City where he organized the first black Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

    In addition to his duties as pastor, Cornish also became a journalist.  Working with fellow African American John B. Russwurm, he founded the first African American newspaper in the United States, Freedom’s Journal. Cornish was the senior editor of the paper. The first issue appeared in New York City on Friday, March 16, 1827.  After living in a world dominated by white media, Cornish and Russwurm in their first editorial, clearly showing their intentions of publishing the news without white bias against the African American news.

    After working on the Freedom Journal for less then a year, Cornish stepped down as the senior editor and took a position as an agent for the New York Free African schools.  In 1829, Cornish was forced to return as an editor after Russwurm allowed the paper to decline and shift away from its original purpose, describing the cultural and economic progress of free blacks in the North.  Cornish revised the journal and renamed it The Rights of All and maintained it for a year.

    Cornish eventually served as editor of a third newspaper, the Colored American.  He also wrote for The Colonization Scheme Considered, a publication which urged free blacks to settle in Liberia.  He also helped antislavery and reform causes by helping to establish the American Anti-Slavery Society, the American Moral Reform Society, the New York City Vigilance Committee, and the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. 

    Samuel Eli Cornish died in Brooklyn, New York on November 6, 1858.

  • 12/19/2020 9:06 PM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

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  • 12/06/2020 9:34 PM | Dan Dildy (Administrator)

    Maria Isabel Urrutia Ocoro (1965 -)

    María Isabel Urrutia Ocoró, Olympic champion weightlifter and politician. She won the first ever gold medal for Colombia at the Summer Olympic Games.

    María Isabel Urrutia Ocoró was born in Calendaria, Colombia, on March 25, 1965. Her mother, Nelly, was a homemaker and her father, Pedro Juan, was an industrial mechanic. Sources differ, but Urrutia had at least 13 siblings, with only four surviving siblings, when she competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

    One year after her birth, Urrutia’s parents moved the family to Cali, Colombia, and settled in the barrio of Mariano Ramos. When Urrutia was 13, she competed in the Colombian youth nationals in Bogotá and set a new shot put record in her first competition. She followed this with victories in the shot put and discus throw at the 1979 South American games in Chile. Her father believed that her sport was detrimental to women. Nevertheless, Urrutia continued to compete and win. Also in 1979 at the age of 14, Urrutia began her twenty-three-year tenure as a phone operator with Empresas Municipales de Cali, the city’s public utilities company. This was Urrutia’s source of income for her training. Her schedule demonstrated her zeal in her sport. The teenager woke up at 4:00 a.m., worked from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., trained from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and then went to school from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

    Urrutia’s athletic prowess landed her a place on the Colombian Olympic team in the 1988 Seoul (South Korea) Summer Olympics. She failed to qualify and contemplated retirement. Just then, her future trainer, Gantcho Karouchrov, convinced her to try weightlifting. Less than three months after her introduction to the sport, Urrutia captured silver at the 1989 World Weightlifting Championships in Manchester, England. She dominated her division of 82 kilograms (180 pounds) from 1990 through 1996.

    Urrutia tore her knee cartilage eight days before the 1999 Pan American games in Winnipeg, Canada, but she dropped weight to 75 kilograms (165 pounds) and managed to win a silver medal. The injury at Winnipeg forced Urrutia to compete in the 2000 Sydney Olympics at 75 kilograms.  This was the first Olympiad where women were allowed to compete in weightlifting and, at thirty-five years old, Urrutia felt it was her only opportunity to capture gold. The top three athletes lifted the same total weight of 245 kilograms (540 pounds), but Urrutia won gold because she weighed less than the silver and bronze athletes. In doing so, Urrutia was the first Colombian athlete to bring home an Olympic gold medal. The press instantly and affectionately called her La Negra de Oro (loosely, the golden black/African).

    In 2001, María Isabel Urrutia Ocoró married her weight lifting coach, Lisandro Carlos Diguini at the San Pedro Cathedral in Cali, Colombia.

    María Isabel Urrutia Ocoró retired and became a politician; Urrutia was elected to the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia since 2002 to 2010.. She also ran for mayor of Cali on a platform of social justice for women, people of African descent, and other marginalized peoples but lost the election.

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