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NAACP Honors Community Member at Freedom Fund Banquet

By Michelle Harmon

The 26th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet was held on Friday, June 2nd , at the Rockledge Country Club. The atmosphere was electric and the décor was beautiful, as the DJ played the sounds of yesterday that made the guests tap their feet and snap their fingers. The Central Brevard Branch of the NAACP honors outstanding accomplishments of community leaders each year at its Freedom Fund Celebration.

This year’s 2017 Freedom Fund recipient was Mrs. Alberta K. Wilson, who is truly a mover and a shaker in Brevard County.  Here are just a few facts about an amazing woman who truly believes like Theodore Roosevelt, “What a man does for himself dies with him, but what he does for his community lives forever.” Mrs. Wilson has been a Rolling Readers volunteer at Endeavour Elementary School for more than three years and she started a College for Kids after school program at Endeavour Elementary School for at-risk minority students.  She served for more than 10 years as the President of the Cocoa Rockledge Civic League, with a strong emphasis on Voter Registration, Voter Education and GOTV.  Mrs. Wilson served with distinction for nearly nine years as President of the Central Brevard NAACP.  When President Obama won the election for President of these United States, Mrs. Wilson took advantage of this historic occasion by raising funds to charter an all-expense paid bus trip to Washington, DC, just so high school students could attend the inauguration. Several young people from Cocoa, Rockledge, Merritt Island and Melbourne high schools were blessed to be a part of this all-expense paid trip.  Mrs. Wilson is a Diamond life time member of the NAACP, life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., life member of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc., and a recipient of the Roy Wilkins Award from South Brevard NAACP, by then President, Mrs. Clara Smith.

The banquet chairpersons, Mr. Chuck Waters and Ms. Veronica C. Jenkins, along with their team committee hosted a fabulous banquet at the Rockledge Country Club.  The Mistress of Ceremony was Ms. Barbara Buggs, and the welcome was proposed by Ms. Victoria Mitchner, 1st Vice President of Central Brevard NAACP. After the singing of the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing, Brother Randy Cole Sims, Sr. performed the invocation, and the Presidents of the North and South NAACP, City of Cocoa and City of Rockledge gave greetings. The soulful voice of Mr. Brian Hancock sung from the depths of his heart …as he sang “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke.  When he finished, you truly believed that change was coming!

The guest Speaker was Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. who is National Chair of the National Congress of Black Women (NCBW) and former Counsel to the U.S Congress District of Columbia Sub-Committee on the Judiciary and Education.  She is a prolific public speaker who has appeared on several television programs, including: BET, CBS, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, just to name a few.  She was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Presidential Scholars Commission.  If you missed this banquet, you did indeed miss a treat.  The topic was entitled, “The Crisis in Black Education.”

Special presentations were given by Mr. Tyrone B. Jones, President of Central Brevard NAACP and by the Brevard County Alumni Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.  Ms. Jennie Kriete, Director from Eastern Florida State College Foundation, Inc. gave a special appeal for guests to give donations to EFSC for scholarships. Mr. Michael C. Blake, former Cocoa City Mayor, had the guest chuckling as he spoke and encouraged attendees to join the NAACP. Closing remarks were by Mr. Tyrone Jones. See you next year with another exciting Freedom Fund Banquet!

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