Thirteen youth receive scholarships from 100 Black Men of Tallahassee Area, Inc.
President-elect of 100 BMOTA, Eric Friall, President Emeritus of the national 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. and current President of 100 BMOTA, Ronald M. Joe, Sr. were all on hand to congratulate the scholarship winners.
Promoting one of their “4 For The Future” pillars – education – the 100 Black Men of Tallahassee Area, Inc. (100 BMOTA) presented $26,500 in scholarships to 13 young people from the Tallahassee area at their annual Black Tie Scholarship Gala. This year’s Gala, held at the Tallahassee Automobile Museum on June 10, was attended by close to 500 chapter donors, community members and friends, whose support helped the chapter provide scholarships. Chapter president, retired Colonel Ronald M. Joe stated that he was extremely proud of the work that the chapter has done and continues to do. “We have increased our giving from $4,500 four years ago to almost $30,000 this year. We know that this would not have been possible without the support of our corporate sponsors, community supporters and the members of our chapter. It’s a great feeling.”
The scholarships were presented by representatives from each of the sponsoring individuals and corporations, Ronald M. Joe, Gerald Williams, Vice President for Membership and Scholarship Chair, along with Vice President for Development, Juan Collins.
Scholarship recipients were:
David H. Jackson, III received the 100 BMOTA and Florida Blue Outstanding Male Scholarship in the amount of $4,000. Jackson, a graduate of Lincoln High will attend Florida A&M University (FAMU) and major in Business Administration.
Zenani Johnson, a graduate of Rickards High, received the 100 BMOTA and COMCAST Outstanding Female Scholarship in the amount of $3,500. She will attend the University of West Florida (UWF) and major in Psychology.
Anthony Reaves, Jr. was awarded the 100 BMOTA and Jordan Davis Walking with Jordan Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $3,500. On hand to present the award was the mother of Jordan Davis, Lucia McBath, Curtis McBath and Conrad Maynard of the Jordan Davis Foundation. Reaves will attend UWF and major in Computer Information Systems.
Tanaysia Higdon, a graduate of East Gadsden High who will attend The Florida State University (FSU) and major in Finance, received the 100 BMOTA and Capital Eurocars Scholarship in the amount of $2,500.
Asantewaa Yamoah, a graduate of Lincoln High School received the 100 BMOTA and Culley MeadowWood Funeral Home Scholarship in the amount of $2,500. She will attend The University of Florida (UF) and major in Biology/Psychology.
Sakari Baker and Taylar Hall each received a $1,500 scholarship from the 100 BMOTA and Pittman Law Group. Ms. Baker is a graduate of James Rickards High and will attend Alabama State University and major in Political Science. Ms. Hall graduated from Lincoln High and will attend FAMU and major in Political Science.
Jeromee Kaleb-Fitz Conner and Jermanie Denise Lewis each received a $1,500 scholarship from Cornucopia Wealth Management, LLC. Jeromee, a graduate of Rickards High will attend FAMU and major in Math with a minor in Music Education. Jermanie, also a graduate of Rickards High will also attend FAMU and major in Veterinary Technology.
Tyron Woods, a graduate of Amos P. Godby High received the 100 BMOTA and FAMU Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Woods will attend FAMU and major in Civil Engineering.
Herbert Franklin, Phillip Lucas and Marlundo Williams each received $1,000 book scholarships from 100 BMOTA and chapter members Selvin Cobb and Lawton Williams. Franklin, a graduate of Wakulla High will attend FAMU and major in Bio-Med. Lucas, a graduate of Leon High, will attend UWF and major in Music Theatre. Williams, a graduate of Thomas County Central High will attend FAMU and major in Nursing/Pre-Med. Funds from Juan Collins Mediation Services, First Commerce Credit Union and Trophy King, USA helped support the Scholarship Gala.
Besides the scholarships, the evening was punctuated by guest speaker, Mr. Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., president emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, Inc., chairman and CEO of TWD, Inc. and a member of the FAMU Board of Trustees. Dortch was introduced by Dr. Larry E. Rivers, professor, author, historian and lecturer. Dortch spoke on the theme, “We Are One,” and provided words of inspiration, motivation, congratulations, admonition and actualization. He emphasized that together, we make a difference and applauded the Tallahassee chapter for its work in the community. Dortch, who originated the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. theme “What They See Is What They’ll Be,” reminded the audience that our young people are watching us and we must provide positive images for them to see.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by internationally and locally acclaimed trumpet player, Mr. Longineu Parsons who is Professor of Music at FAMU and eight year old violin prodigy, Leah Flynn from Sanford, Fla. Leah learned to play piano at age three and has been playing violin since the age of five. Also on the program were Rev. Robert Butler, who provided the invocation and blessing of food, Mr. Kent Watson who brought greetings on behalf of Representative Gwen Graham and President-Elect of 100 BMOTA, Eric Friall, who gave the occasion. Mr. Darryl Jones, Executive Director of the Bethel CDC was the dynamic Master of Ceremony for the third year.
President Joe presented awards to Mr. Dortch and awarded the 100 BMOTA Living Legacy Award to Dr. Frederick S. Humphries, who was the Honorary Gala Chair and the impetus for the chartering of the chapter. Although Humphries was not able to attend, he was remembered fondly by Tommie Mitchell, the first president of the local chapter. Joe also presented the 100 BMOTA Appreciation Award to Griffin Middle School Principal Gwendolyn Lynn Thomas for allowing the chapter to utilize their media center for its Saturday Success Academy and for being present on most Saturdays.
The chapter also paused to recognize some of its own. Joe and 100 BMOTA Parliamentarian, Wilbur Johnson presented the following awards: 100 BMOTA Mentee of the Year, Marlon Blake-Gibson, 100 BMOTA Collegiate Man of the Year, Hakeem Holmes, 100 BMOTA Father of the Year, Gerald Williams and the 100 BMOTA Man of the Year, Selvin Cobb.
President Joe, who served as chair of the Gala committee also acknowledged the outstanding work of the Gala committee, Rev. Ernest J. Lane, Gerald Williams, Michael Hannah, Torrece Porter, Wilbur Johnson, Lenita Joe, Lawton Williams, Mary Brown Ellis, Selvin Cobb, Eric Friall, Tommy Mitchell, Danielle Williams, Juan Collins, Ray Mobley, Earl Levison, Shira Thomas, Michele Burt, Rakisha Collins, Brandon Bowden, Sherwood Brown, Adner Marcelin, Will Bennett, Kevin Gray, Ralph Byrd and Ryan Rigg.
After Gala music was provided by DJ Vaughn Wilson and Gala goers were able to delve into the lusciously displayed candy station provided by Mrs. Mary Brown Ellis. Heavenly Catering was responsible for the Gala meal.