Submitted by Elmetra Eichelberger-Patterson
President Charles Hampton and the Freedom Fund Banquet Committee were delighted to host a full house of guest and members in the main dining room at Lake Tiak, O’Khata for its 32nd Annual Freedom Fund Banquet on April 28, 2012. There were guest from Clay, Choctaw, Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Hinds Counties. Most of Winston County’s elected officials were present: Mayor Will Hill, Vice Mayor Eugene Crosby, Alderwomen Gwenita Mays and Judy McLeod, Senator Samuel Jackson, State Representative Michael Evans, Judge Robert A. Beck, Chancery Clerk Julia Cunningham, Circuit Clerk Kim Means, Supervisor Gloria Turnipseed, School Board Trustees, Kathy Edwards, Brenda Johnson and a few others. Mayor Joel Gill of Pickens was also present. The theme for the banquet: “Acknowledging the Past While Embracing the Future”. The group had the opportunity to hear dynamic speaker Dr. Quindola Crowley Miller of Seattle, Washington. Among many other executive experiences, she is presently the Deputy Director of Behavior Health for the Western Region Medical Command which serves a 20 state region with 11 hospitals. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the military after serving 29 years. To learn more about this dynamic woman, please read the front page of the Winston County Journal dated, April 25, 2012. She quoted statistics about the achievement gap between African American children and Caucasian Children. She stated that, “Parents and community members have to show-up, step-up and shout-out in order to help close this gap. The train is moving and if we don’t get on board, we will be left behind. We have a choice – a voice that we must exercise for our children. This is a call to action.” Youth NAACP ACT-SO member, Alexis Hampton, entertained with a Sam Cook favorite, A Change is Gonna Come.
President Charles Hampton and 1st Vice President Dean Miller presented awards to:
Betsy Ann Eichelberger, 93 years old, received the Sam Bailey/Long Distant Runner Award which goes to the individual who has gone beyond the call of duty to improve conditions for the African American Community. She is also the oldest member as well as the oldest person in the Winston County Branch NAACP. Elmetra Eichelberger-Patterson received the Medgar Evers Award which goes to an individual or organization contributing to uplifting the entire community and who serves tirelessly to the local branch. Pearlean McReynolds received the Vernon Dahmer Award which goes to an individual who contributes to both young and old citizens of the African American Community. Leevel Yarbrough (photo unavailable) received the Volunteer of the Year Award which goes to an individual who tirelessly volunteers their time to help carry out the mission and vision of the Winston County Branch NAACP. The Winston County Branch NAACP thank all who attended and supported this banquet. Charles Hampton stated that it is one of the yearly fundraisers which help to support various functions of the branch. To become a member, please contact the branch at: Winston County Branch NAACP, P. O. Box 452, Louisville, MS 39339 or call (662) 773-4002.