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City of Grambling’s chamber banquet honors local citizens

Six local citizens and one community organization will be honored at the Greater Grambling Chamber of Commerce Annual Community Contributions Banquet Friday, Nov. 16 in the Black and Gold Room at Grambling State University.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception and a silent auction followed by the banquet at 7 p.m. Individual tickets are $30 and tables seating eight are $210.

Title sponsor for this year’s event is First National Bank. Supporting sponsors are Legends Market, True Care Dental, Red River Credit Union and Primary Health Services Center.

 “This is an opportunity to recognize individuals and organizations who consistently contribute to the betterment of the Grambling community,” said Cathy Douglas, banquet chairperson.

 “Quite frankly, I am talking about money and/or time. Without a doubt, they have done it.”

Each award is named for longtime Grambling area citizens, past and present, who have made major contributions to the advancement of the community.
“Contributions is the key word in the title of this banquet,” Douglas said. “The banquet is not only about publicly recognizing those we honor today, it is also about honoring those who have made extraordinary contributions to the Grambling community’s formative years. They are the ones for whom the awards are named.”

The awards and the recipients follow.

Charlene Green will receive the Calvin A. Wilkerson Overall Award (Posthumous) for overall achievements. Charlene Sims Greene served in several capacities for the city of Grambling including secretary, city clerk, tax collector, bookkeeper, treasurer and administrative assistant to five of six mayors during Grambling’s incorporated history.

The late Calvin A. Wilkerson was a Grambling businessman also active in the social and political affairs of the community. He was elected to Lincoln Parish School Board and appointed to the University of Louisiana Board of trustees among other honors.

Kadar Dennis is the Thelma Smith Williams Community Service Award recipient. Dennis works as an IT specialist with the Social Security Administration and owns ETC Entertainment.

 He has spearheaded numerous community events including back-to-school efforts for children and Christmas dinners for those in need.

Thelma Smith Williams is a retired university professor and high school teacher who worked at Grambling State and Grambling State Laboratory High School. As Grambling’s unofficial historian, she has written a book on the community and has an extensive collection of historical documents on the community and university.

Marvin Davis who owns Reali-Tees Gift and Souvenir Shop will receive the A.D. Smith Business Award. Since his days as a college student at GSU, Davis been a major contributor to many Grambling community activities.

A.D. Smith was a longtime was the principal of Grambling High School, a Grambling businessman, city councilman and mayor pro tem who was active in many community and church activities.

Jean Brown and Shirley Henderson will each be awarded the R.W.E. Jones Education Award. Both are retired elementary school teachers who taught hundreds of Grambling residents during their tenures at Grambling State University Laboratory Schools.

R.W.E Jones was the second president of GSU during the growth years when the school added many new facilities, expanded academics including four-year bachelor degrees, and increased athletic and extracurricular programs.

Rev. Henry Island and the Epsilon Alpha Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. have been selected for the Dr. Rhonda Pruitt Special Recognition Award. Island has been active in many Grambling community activities and groups including the Post 593 American Legion, the Liberty Hill Baptist Association and the GSU and Louisiana Tech University alumni groups.

 Zeta Phi Beta has sponsored the Miss Juneteenth Pageant and has an ongoing project with the March of Dimes in addition to many other activities.
For ticket and other information, contact Cathy Douglas, 274-2200 or Barbara McIntyre, 243-1858.