At their Pinkie C. Wilkerson Awards Banquet held on March 9 the Grambling Alumnae and Delta Iota chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. honored 12 local women. The Deltas held the banquet as part of their National Women’s History Month Celebration.
The honorees were chosen because of their service to the local communities. They received the following awards: Dr. Rhonda Pruitt, STEM; Helen Godfrey Smith, Business Executive; Dr. Andolyn B. Harrison, Higher Education; Rosiland Russell, K-12 Education; LaFaye Carter Jackson, Humanitarian; Windy Leonard Calahan, Social Action; Martha Woodard Andrus, Political Activist; Joyce B. Evans, Community Service; Delores Wilkerson Smith, Fortitude; Liza M. Patton, Women in Ministry; Nelda Baisy, Unsung Hero; and Dr. Dorothy Lamour Alexander, the “Pinkie” award. Mary Davis was the recipient of GAC’s president award.
The oldest honoree was 92-year-old Carter Jackson. She was the first African American woman to serve on the Claiborne Parish School Board. Through her Rogers C. and LaFaye C. Jackson Foundation she has helped to fund the education of over 200 children.
Alexander, who led the implementation of GAC’s Read Me a Story summer reading program, said that many helped her. “Some were not Deltas but had the good old Delta spirit,” she said.
Russell, an educator for over three decades, said every child is somebody’s child. “We all want the best for our children. I believe we can educate the masses,” she said.
Hazel D. Hunter, president of the Pinkie C. Wilkerson Life Development Foundation, said the honorees have proven that no one ever becomes poor by giving.
“Our 12 honorees are some of the most giving and outstanding women in our service areas – Lincoln, Union, Jackson, Winn, Bienville and Claiborne Parishes,” said Hunter.
Musical entertainment was provided by the Show Band Rhythm Group, composed of Jordan T. Bradford, Daniel Jolla III and Duron Brooks.
Karlos Patton, who attended the program in support of his mother, said, “I’m very honored and happy that the Deltas recognized my mother for her accomplishments. It just goes to show that there are people still out there that believe in giving people their flowers while they’re here. I respect the Deltas for acknowledging all individuals for their contributions to their community.”
GAC president, Gwendolyn F. Giles, said since it is the year of Delta’s centennial celebration (2013) and Women’s National History Month, they honored 13 women.
“The women that we recognized have often given of themselves to help others. We wanted to show that their work has not gone unnoticed,” said Giles, Louisiana State Secretary of the Southwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta.