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Soul Sistas Run gala returns for second year

For the second year, Soul Sistas Run will recognize community members and award two scholarships during the Black Tie Legacy Awards & Scholarship Gala.

“This is our second year hosting the gala as a way to fundraise for our organization but also to honor those that are normally behind the scenes, working hard, expecting nothing in return but getting the job done to better our community,” SSR President Pamela Whitfield said.
Held Dec. 5 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, the event will recognize two scholarship recipients and a host of Legacy Award winners.

The Mrs. Brenda Gray Scholarship Awards will go to Mallory Tidwell and D’Yasmine Richards. Eight Legacy Award winners will be honored for their work in the community.

“We named the awards after trendsetters that have all been standouts for our community, that put together, who stood for helping others when everyone was just talking about it” Whitfield said. “I only wish that the people that the awards are named after were still alive so that we could honor them as what they are due. We are able to give Ms. Nancy Beasley her honor as she still graces us with her captivating presence every year.”

The winners include:
• James S. Morgan Pioneer Award: Ralph Lowe. “[Ralph] is a community man that will and has done everything in his power for most of us in the community and always with a smile.”

• Nancy L. Beasley Teacher of the Year Award: Steven Flowers, “an awesome sixth-grade teacher that really cares about the children. Male teachers don’t always get the accolades that they deserve, and Mr. Flowers is stern with the children yet he loves them and expects greatness from them. He is a great role model for the children as well.”

• Business Person of Year: James Trey Benham. “Trey gives back to his community and sits on several committees in the surrounding area. He is a phenomenal example of a caring young man that is always willing to help his community ... He doesn’t mind the hard work.”

• Matthew Hill Humanitarian Award: John Morgan. “Mr. [D.A.R.E.] himself [is] a stand-up man that comes from a great family that has truly lived up to the family name. He was critical in implementing and enforcing the D.A.R.E. program at all of the local schools, which is still thriving after his retirement.”

• Rev. Eugene H. Mitchell Pastor of the Year Award: Bishop Jesse Pete Smith. “Bishop Smith, founder of the House of Liberty, this year is celebrating 30 years in the ministry this year. He is a pillar in the community and works hard to support other organizations, pastors and churches.”

• Michael Dean Community Service Award: Donald “Duck” Strickland. “Started the Hope House for men transitioning from jail or drug addition, Duck has poured his blood, sweat and tears into the ministry and have given other a fighting chance that some of would not have. He is a true testament that God can change and use a willing vessel.”

• Rev. Jacky L. Beavers Music Award: Darnell “Jac Rip” Jackson. Whitfield describes his as a “Christian rap artist, a true family man, and all around guy next door. He witnesses to different schools, and organizations donating his time and talents to spread the word of Kingdom Business. He is truly a great role model for our youth to make a bold statement and it’s OK to be different from everyone else and be successful.”

The last award, the Lifetime Achievement Award, will go to Bartow County Juvenile Court Judge Velma Tilley.

“Judge Tilley is an icon that has stood her ground in the juvenile justice system for the past 30 years,” Whitfield said. “One of our main goals is to empower women, and who better recognize than Judge Tilley? We can all learn from her wisdom, compassion yet strong will to make a change and hold you accountable for your actions. What better way to honor her retirement than to give her this honor Lifetime Achievement Award?”

Tickets to the gala remain on sale through Nov. 30 and can be purchased from any member of Soul Sistas Run, by calling 404-590-3492 or online at www.soulsistasrun.org or http://www.eventbrite.com/e/soul-sistas-run-inc-black-tie-legacy-awards-scholarship-gala-tickets. Ticket prices are $40 per person, $70 per couple or $310 for a table of eight. A formal dinner, a live band and dancing, and a professional photographer will be part of the night.

All funds raised go to support feeding and providing for the homeless, enhancing and providing for SSR’s mentoring program and Scholarship Foundation.

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