Founder, President and CEO of the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Xernona Clayton celebrated her 82nd birthday in the country on Wednesday.
Ms. Clayton brought 180 of her closest friends and family to Nassau, Bahamas to celebrate the occasion with her. The group is staying at the Atlantis Resort for the remainder of the week
At a reception held in her honour Wednesday night at the Balmoral Club, Ms. Clayton told local reporters that she has visited The Bahamas on numerous occasions but that this particular trip is a “pleasure” trip.
“This is a special moment for me and I wanted to celebrate it with the people that I love the most and I wanted to be here in The Bahamas,” she said Wednesday night.
“I wanted to be joyous and happy and my friends have given me such a blessing. I’m constantly blessed so I wanted to have my birthday here but also to do something good so [Tuesday] I went over to the Ranfurly Home for Children because I like to do things for other people.”
Ms. Clayton said the prime minister’s wife accompanied her to the Mackey Street home.
“I didn’t want to just have a birthday for myself but to share it with others so we carried the children several gifts as well as people who are good examples of what they can aspire to be,” she said.
“They [her entourage] told them their stories, struggles, challenges and also let them know that they can overcome all of them and that was rewarding for me because it gave me an opportunity to give thanks for my blessings.”
Ms. Clayton said she will return to The Bahamas to do more work for the children’s home.
“I’m coming back to continue work in the children’s home because I’m going to take that on as one of my charities,” she said.
“I’m also considering bringing the Trumpet Awards here. The foundation just celebrated its 20th anniversary. In fact, your prime minister was our first international recipient. It’s a programme that’s inspirational and shows that achievement should be rewarded.”
Clayton was employed at Turner Broadcasting for nearly 30 years where she served as a corporate executive.
In 1988, she was appointed corporate vice president for Urban Affairs with Turner Broadcasting System.
In this capacity, she directed internal and external projects for the Corporation, and served as a liaison between Turner Broadcasting – TBS Superstation, CNN, Headline News, TNT, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks – and civic groups in Atlanta and across the country.
As a corporate executive, Ms. Clayton was one of the highest-ranking female employees in the Turner broadcasting system.
Ms. Clayton moved to Atlanta in 1965 where she accepted a position with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and worked closely with the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. up to the time of his assassination.
She also traveled extensively with Coretta Scott King on her nationwide concert tours.