ELIZABETHTOWN — A total of $4,500 in scholarships were awarded at the Bladen County Training School — Bladen Central High School Alumni Association’s 33rd annual awards banquet. Approximately 125 people gathered at The Paul R. Brown Building in Elizabethtown on Sept. 12 for the event.
The program began with the presentation of colors by The Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy’s Color Guard and pledge led by Headmaster Roland T. McKoy.
Minnie Price served as mistress of ceremonies for the occasion. The Rev. Lester Powell gave an invocation and Dorothy McKoy welcomed the group and gave an update. The Rev. Ronald Highsmith provided entertainment throughout the evening.
After dinner, which was catered by Cindy Rhodie, Helen Hollis gave a necrology and Delores Wade introduced Teressa McKoy Watts as the keynote speaker for the evening. Watts is a 1985 graduate of East Bladen High School and a 1993 graduate of The University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She is in private practice at Riverbend Family Medicine in Charlotte.
Watts spoke on the need for the community to work together and embrace its young people with educational support and teaching integrity. She encouraged the young scholarship recipients to be persistent in reaching their goals and donated $500 to fund for one of the scholarships.
Dorothy McKoy and Catherine Autry presented Paul R. Brown scholarships to the following students:
— Geomae Peterson, Brandie Rhodie and Kiera Leach.
— Claudette Lucas presented the James and Dollie Andrews scholarship to Kyla Harvey.
— Judge Vince Rozier Jr. presented a scholarship to Laquana Montgomery.
— Nettie Cromartie of the class of 1968 presented Melody Weathers, Vergil LeSane and Tavon Reeves scholarships in honor of the late Charles McMillan.
— Dr. Pearly Hoskins presented scholarships to Mya Johnson and Macy Brown.
Awards were presented to the following individuals:
— Teressa Watts for being the keynote speaker.
— Commissioner G. Michael Cogdell for Community Service.
— LTCNC Carl Lloyd for service to the youth.
Hattie Gilliard recognized the Alumni Officers and Advisory Board. The classes of 1963 and 1968 received certificates for the most in attendance and the class of 1963 also received a certificate for meeting the $500 challenge of last year’s class of 1965.
The evening closed with the benediction by Rev. McKoy and retirement of colors by The Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy’s Color Guard.