RINCON — More than 100 members and friends of the Effingham County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) attended the Golden Anniversary Gala on Sept. 8 at the Rincon Lions Club in Macomber Park, acknowledging the 50th anniversary of the branch's founding.
The theme was “Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future.”
In his remarks near the end of the program and in his letter to the ad journal distributed that evening, Effingham County NAACP President Leroy Lloyd asked those gathered to “fathom what it must have been like to be here in Effingham County when W.W. Law … (the man who served as the president of the Savannah branch of the NAACP in 1968 when the Effingham branch was established) … presented the charter to Reverend Thomas Kent, president, officially establishing the NAACP in the county.”
This historic event transpired on Nov. 3, 1968.
Lloyd also quoted James Baldwin, the African-American author who announced that “it is certain, in any case, that ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.”
State Rep. Al Williams served as the keynote speaker. Williams, a member of the legislature from Liberty County since 2002, has had a strong relationship with Effingham County and with many members of the African-American community, including Effingham County NAACP members, since the branch's inception.
As usual, Williams delivered an inspiring message, building in intensity as he delivered his address.
In acknowledgment of this event, two resolutions were presented to the Effingham County branch of the NAACP.
On behalf of the General Assembly, Republican House Majority Leader Jon Burns presented a document to Lloyd.The Effingham County Board of Commissioners delivered a resolution to the branch that appears in the ad journal.
Lloyd acknowledged many who contributed to the success of the gala. He presented the President's Award to 50th Anniversary Gala Chairperson Evelyn Allen, who had a leadership role in all three of the branch's recent Galas.
Lloyd cited the Rev. Lon Harden, the pastor of Macedonia Baptist Church, Guyton, as master of ceremonies.
Lula Seabrooks welcomed the guests in her remarks.
Pearl Thomas entertained the attendees with a solo vocal performance.
Kevin Cook provided the background music and performed a musical solo as well.
As usual, Lucy Powell, an original member of the Effingham County branch of the NAACP since 1968, recognized special guests, which included religious, political, civic and NAACP leaders from other branches, and other dignitaries. She cited specifically Burns and the longest-serviing Effingham County Commissioner, Reggie Loper.
The benediction was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Leo Burns.
Lloyd acknowledged the Gala Committee, whose members included Evelyn Allen, Henry Allen. Tony Chiariello, Edies Cope, Votoria Glover, Rachel Lloyd, Nellar Lonon, Powell, Pearl Thomas, Seabrooks and Herlene White.
Lloyd also acknowledged the corporate sponsors: Effingham Health System, Georgia Power and Savannah Coca-Cola Bottling Company.