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Cruz Bay
Monday, October 3, 2022


Coral World was magically transformed into an elegant outdoor "festival of lights" Saturday night, as the four owners of St. Thomas's newest tourist attraction were honored, along with four other individuals, by the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce for their contributions to the community.
Lynn Falkenthal of the Victim Advocates and local businessmen Leroy Gottlieb and Jose Penn received community service awards. Student leader Watisha Brooks was given the Student Achievement Award. The Corporate Citizens Award went to Coral World owners Trudie and Neil Prior, Henry Wheatley and Paul Lichtman.
Brooks said she hoped her contributions to the community would serve as an example to other students, inspiring them to get involved in civic activities too.
Gottlieb, owner of Gottlieb's Quickway Service Center and L & G Auto Parts, acknowledged the contributions made to his company by his employees, many of whom are from other Eastern Caribbean islands.
Penn, treasurer of his family's many businesses in St. John and a community activist, said it was time to take action to turn around the territory's fiscal condition.
When Neil Prior accepted the Corporate Citizens Award on behalf of Coral World, he joked about the two hurricanes that had destroyed his former company, the V.I. Telephone Corp., asking "where was the chamber then?"
"Those were very hard times," Prior said, referring to rebuilding the phone company after two devastating storms. "But now they honor us for something that was an absolute joy to undertake."
The banquet event, which was held mostly outside, drew more than 300 people, said Joe Aubain, executive director of the chamber. "And not a bit of rain."

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