Event awards African-AmericansPublished 3:00am Wednesday, February 22, 2012
When the Illustrious Women of Vision and the local chapter of Phi Delta Kappa sorority began to discuss holding their first Legends Gala to honor local African-Americans, member Loletta Redmon knew exactly who should be honored as a humanitarian.
“Immediately I said, ‘Lisa Thomas McMillan,’” Redmon remembered at the banquet Saturday night. “Her heart is so big. Every day she’s looking to find some way to help people. She serves so willingly; her cup is running over.”
McMillan, who runs the cafe at Jefferson Davis Community College, regularly provides free meals to community members and college students on holidays and for other events. She has also run a food bank and operated a “rolling store” to deliver groceries to residents in rural areas.
“We honor you for your dedication,” Redmon told McMillan.
The banquet, held to coincide with Black History Month, also honored the Rev. H.K. Matthews with the Legend award.
Matthews, who worked with many national leaders during the Civil Rights movement, said he was honored by the recognition from his home community. “I have been given many awards,” he said. “But this award ranks at the top.”
Also honored Saturday night were Brewton pastor the Rev. Willie J. Blue; Evergreen pastor the Rev. Dr. John O. Meeks; educator Marion Booker of Evergreen; T.R. Miller student Leah Denise Brundidge and Evergreen student Aleyseia Sade Oliver.
Organizers said they hope to make the gala an annual event.
Keynote speaker the Rev. Danny Benjamin said people need to remember that with God, all things are possible.
“It seems to me that for people of color, we have forgotten to say ‘Amen’ to the Lord for what we have,” he said. “There have been situations in our lives that seemed impossible. There have been the Jordans of segregation, the Jordans of injustice, the Jordans of discrimination. Thanks be to God the Lord who has opened so many doors for you and for me.”