ELIZABETHTOWN — A total of $6,500 in scholarships was awarded at the Bladen County Training School/Bladen Central High School Alumni Association’s 34th annual Awards Banquet.
There was standing room only at the event, which was held on Sept. 10 at The Paul R. Brown Building in Elizabethtown.
The program began with the posting of the colors and Pledge by The Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy’s Color Guard. Mistress of Ceremonies Minnie Price called on the Rev. Vince Rozier Sr. of Raleigh for an invocation. President Dorothy McKoy gave a welcome and update. Catherine Autry gave a necrology report. The Rev. Ronald Highsmith of Garner provided entertainment throughout the evening.
After dinner, catered by Cindy Rhodie, Delores Wade introduced Rozier, Jr. as the keynote speaker. Rozier, a Bladen County native who is running as a statewide candidate for the N.C. Court of Appeals, told the group that even though the organization had a great history, it was not time to stop. He talked about the difference in an obituary and a legacy. An obituary is based on memories but a legacy requires action and it can influence what happens in the future.
He told the group not to sit back and watch history being made but to get out, take action and help make it.
“If a door closes in your face, find a way to knock it down or create your own,” he said.
The following students were awarded scholarships:
— Randolph Barnes, Ashley Brown and Malique McDowell received Paul R. Brown Scholarships. Shadia McKoy received the James & Dollie Andrews Scholarship. Sydneigh Beatty and Keyanna Graham received the Otis Graham Scholarships.
— Jasmine Grimes and Cynquasha Best received the Joseph and Lubertha Rozier Scholarship. Teanna McPherson received the John L. Lucas Scholarship. and Kayla Pipkin and Nishayla Pipkin received the Nettie Cromartie Scholarship.
Awards were presented to the following: Judge Rozier received the Speakers Award. The Rev. Pia Jessup received the Ministers Award. Horace Munn received the Community Service Award and Michael McKoy received the Service to Youth Award. Helen Rogers won the raffled quilt that was made and donated by Jean McKoy Goree and Virginia Thomas won the diaper cake donate by Nettie Cromartie.
Officers and advisory board members were recognized by Helen Hollis and classes were recognized by Nettie Cromartie. The class of 1963 was recognized for having the most present. President McKoy recognized and thanked all sponsors for their financial support. The night ended with the retirement of colors by The Paul Brown Leadership Academy’s color guard.