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SCLC Annual MLK Gala

2/13/2014, 10:24 a.m.
Armond Buddish Keynote Speaker at SCLC MLK Gala
Armond Buddish

The Southern Christian Leadership Council celebrated its 13th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Gala recently at the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church. The theme for this year’s event was “Upward and Onward to the Broader Concerns of Humanity.”

Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. E. Theophilus Caviness, president and CEO of the SCLC Cleveland Chapter, remarked that it was fitting that the celebration this year was held at the very church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered a speech in Cleveland.

Rev. Hilton O. Smith, vice president of SCLC, was the master of ceremonies keeping the program moving along with humor and charm.

The keynote speaker was State Senator Armond Buddish , who is a candidate for Cuyahoga County Executive. Senator Buddish discussed the changes he would bring to Cuyahoga County if elected.

The program was opened by the Glenville High School Junior ROTC who marched down the aisle in true military form. They were followed by Bernita Ewing who delivered a beautiful rendition of the Negro National Anthem.

The guests were entertained by the Caviness Steppers for Christ comprised of young men who are committed to spreading the gospel through song and dance. Dressed in black suits and bow ties, coordinated by Jacques Smith, the group received a standing ovation.

The SCLC emphasizes the importance of educating our youth but recognizes the cost of education. Six graduating seniors received $1000 scholarships to assist in their college path.

Service Awards were presented to the following… Rosa Parks Award: Margot J. Copeland, Key Bank Executive Vice President, Diversity and Philanthropy.

Excellence in Public Education: Eric S. Gordon, Superintendent Cleveland Municipal School District.

Frontline Soldiers Award: Lawrence J. Hanley, International President of Amalgamated Transit Union AFL/CIO.

Pastor of the Year Award: Rev. David L. Hunter, Pastor, Bright Star Baptist Church.

Excellence in Innovation Education Award: Dr. Alex B. Johnson, President Cuyahoga Community College.

Excellence in Corporate Business Award: Amos Z. Mahsua, CPA, Treasurer of the NAACP.

Excellence in Health Award: Dr. Patricia E. McDonald, Researcher, Case Western Reserve University.

Community Activist for Justice Award: Yvonne Pointer, Activist, Motivational Speaker and Philanthropist.

Trail Blazer in Curriculum Award: Dr. Shirley Jordon Seay, Professor, Cuyahoga Community College, President of the National Cancer Registrars Association.

Excellence in Corporate Business Award: Randell McShepard, Vice President, Public Affairs, RPM International, Inc.

Excellence in Corporate Business Award: Roger P. Saffold, CPA

Trail Blazer Community Development Award: Ralph S. Tyler, IV, President and CEO of Ralph Tyler Companies.

Attendees were treated to a delicious meal prepared by JoAnn Wright and her culinary staff.