Chatter That Matters: June 26, 2013

caines | 6/27/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Congresswoman Fredericka S. Wilson, founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence, planned and celebrated with her staff and the community a 20th anniversary event at the Hilton Hotel. With more than 500 people in attendance it was a very grand affair with Bishop Victor T. Curry addressing and thanking everyone for their attendance and support. Additionally, Dr. Ricky Holton made inspiring remarks. But it was Wilson who sincerely shared the beginnings of the role models program and how her compulsion to create something concrete inspired her to reach out to others to mentor and assist her in making a difference in the lives of our Black boys. The initial group of mentors included: Donnie Carter, Michael Johnson, Fred Wallace, Dr. Tee S. Greer. Jr., Dr. Richard Strachan, Dr. John Johnson, II, Vince Dawkins, and Dr. George Koonce, Jr. Some of these dedicated men are no longer with us. Today the mentors include Mark Beckford, James Brown, Robert Parker, Paul Wilson, Jr., Wilbert T. Holloway, Lt. Joseph Schilolaci, Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, and Judge Daryl Trawick. The dedicated staff members working with this program include: Tammy Reed, Pamela Davis, Melodie Delancey, and Katrina W. Davis. A salute to this program which has provided millions of dollars in scholarship. Stella Johnson and the North Dade Sr. High School class of 1963 enjoyed a wonderful 50th year reunion recently with many activities that recalled their high school days and gave them the opportunity to camaraderie and enjoy each other. Among those participating were: Betty T. Ferguson, Frances M. Kearse, Leon Phillips, Bennie M. Grant, Althea M. King and William Lee. Former faculty members in attendance were: Octeon Cumabatch, Mildred A. Ferguson, Dr. Harold Guinyard, Althea Samson, Portia Oliver, Percy Oliver, Dr. Richard J. Strachan and Raymond Thornton. Also, the Old Skool Gang was on hand to that entertain royally with songs from the era. P.A.C. T. ( People Acting For Community Together) had its quarterly meeting at St. Thomas University where different denominations met to discuss serious community issues. They are accomplishing some of their goals and Rev. Dr. Joeretha Capers, pastor, Ebenezer UMC, received a banner for services rendered for their efforts in working on issues of crime, etc.in our community. Representing Ebenezer were Francena H. Scott, Corine Bradley, Samuel Chase Williams, Veronica Rahming, Mary Martin, Rene Greene, Betty Bullard, Celese and Calvin McRea, Rose Moorman and Marva Hill. Katrenia Colebrook, Beverly Hudnell, along with ministers and others representing Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, St. Marys Cathedral, New Birth Cathedral, The Church by the Sea, Opa Locka United Methodist Church, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Kellys Chapel AME. The retired brothers of Sigma Alpha Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, met for the last meeting before closing down for the summer. Baljean Smith, president opened the meeting and Ernest Davis updated the minutes. Dr. Astrid Mack apprised the brothers of plans for having a recognition of 29th Grand Basilus, Dr. Edward Braynon with Smith and Johnny Stepherson spearheading the activity scheduled for Saturday, August 10, 11:30 a.m. at the 94th Air Squadron. For more info., please call 1-954-435-1072. By Dr. Richard Strachan