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Banquet celebrates work of five area women

Banquet celebrates work of five area women

February 19th, 2018 by Shonna Yeager in Texarkana News

Katie Thompson, a high school senior and president of the Zeta Phi Beta youth chapter, speaks Saturday night at the 23rd annual Tribute to African American Women Awards Banquet at Texarkana College.

Photo by Kaitlyn Gordon /Texarkana Gazette.

Five area women were honored Saturday night for their leadership and service to the community during the 24th annual Tribute to African-American Women Awards Banquet.

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. hosted the gala in the Great Room of Truman Arnold Student Center on the Texarkana College campus.

This combination photo shows, top row from left, Sandra Warren, Mary Scoggins-Robinson, Lisa Godfrey, and on the bottom row, LaKesha Taylor and Lisa K. Williams. All five received awards at the Tribute to African American Women Awards Banquet on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at Texarkana College.

This combination photo shows, top row from left,...

The master of ceremonies was Brannon Sledge, a member of Phi Beta Sigma. Stan and Zeke were the guest entertainment. Katie Thompson, Archonettes president, conducted the greeting and the Rev. Phillip Parrish, pastor of Yahweh Christian Church, performed the invocation.

Each honoree was asked five questions that presenters read to the audience in efforts to get to know the women on a more personal level.

Christel Crear and Lillie Young presented LaKesha Taylor with the Zedia Lane Education Award.

Taylor was asked what influential person she would like to meet and what she would hope to learn from them. Her response was Harriet Tubman because she exudes confidence, selflessness and love.

Taylor said she felt blessed to receive the honor. "There are a lot of deserving people, so for them to select me is a huge blessing," she said. "One thing I tell my students is that you never know who is watching, so always do your best."

Yolanda Johnson and Raphonnie Roberts presented Lisa Godfrey with the Shae Watson Humanitarian Award. Godfrey was asked if she had the opportunity to walk a day in someone's shoes, whose would she walk in and what contribution would she hope to make. Her response was Oprah Winfrey so she could build and staff a youth club in rural, low economic areas.

"I just thank God for this privilege and opportunity. I am in awe and disbelief for this beautiful recognition, " Godfrey said. "I believe that whatever we can do in our area, even though it may seem small to us, it makes an impact on others and that is what we want to do."

Maxine Crittenden and Kenneth Link presented Mary Scoggins-Robinson with the Edna Shepherd Leadership Award.

Scoggins-Robinson was asked what she would do differently if she had to live her life over again. She says she would not change anything because everything that has happened in her life has made more caring and wiser.

Mrs. Thompson and her daughter, Katie Thompson, sing along to "Lift Every Voice and Sing" on Saturday night during the 23nd annual Tribute to African American Women Awards Banquet at Texarkana College. This song is known by all members of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity and Zeta Phi Beta sorority. For more coverage, see Monday's Texarkana Gazette.

Mrs. Thompson and her daughter, Katie Thompson, sing...

Photo by Kaitlyn Gordon /Texarkana Gazette.

"I have attended this function for years not ever thinking that I would one day be receiving an award," she said. "I am one of the ones that work really quite behind the scenes, just trying to be a good role model to our children, so this is just a pleasure."

Ann Moore and Cynthia Henderson presented Sandra Warren with the Idell Watson Good Shepherd Award.

Warren was asked her favorite place to find comfort. She said it would be in worship because no matter what she may find herself dealing with, everything feels alright when she is in God's house.

"I am just so grateful for this opportunity and for my friends and family that are here to support me," Warren said. "I would just encourage everyone to get involved and do something."

LaRhonda Hamilton and Rodney Hartfield presented Lisa K. Williams with the Helen McNeal Service Award.

Williams was asked what can be her biggest contribution to the community. She said to continue to inspire and empower by educating about health.

"I just want to thank both of these great organizations," Williams said. "I am very excited to be honored tonight."

Although the banquet was designed to honor strong and empowering women, one young man was honored for his academic dedication.

Liberty-Eylau High School student Tony Wayne Kennedy Jr. was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship. Kennedy has been accepted to Ouachita Baptist University, where he plans to pursue a degree in music education. "I want to be an inspiration to students the way Stephanie Nelson and Brandon Martindale have been for me," he said.

Last year's honorees include Dianna Culberson, Mary Reeves, Ophelia Evans, Thelma Black, Dr. Sandra Dodd Young, Danielle Roberson Gulley, LaTonya McElroy and Yolanda Thomas.

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