NAACP holds 54th Freedom Fund Banquet
Urges attendees to vote in Tuesday’s election
— “Every vote matters” was the prevailing message of the 54th Freedom Fund Banquet for the Cecil County Branch of the NAACP.
Held Saturday night at Schaefer’s Canal House in Chesapeake City, keynote speaker Gerald G. Stansbury, president of the
Maryland State Conference of the NAACP, urged those in attendance to vote Tuesday, if they had not already cast a ballot during early voting.
While citing the many social and civil injustices suffered by the AfricanAmerican community, Stansbury said these ongoing problems are now being addressed by a new generation.
“They don’t want to hear ‘We Shall Overcome’ any longer,” Stansbury said, referring to the signature song of the 1960s civil rights movement. “We have now come to a point where there is a movement, the beginning of a revolution where our young folks, the millennials, members of the Black Lives Matter movement have come on the scene and they do not intend to turn the cheek any longer.”
Listing historical figures including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.,
Stansbury said Black Lives Matter should be given the same credence.
“You know we should embrace the sentiments of Black Lives Matter even if we cannot agree with its organizational missteps, because obtaining real and complete freedom is still worth the fight for every human being,” he said.
Stansbury emphasized that “our greatest weapon is the ballot.”
“With the use of the ballot, we do not have to please to the federal government for passage of anti-discrimination laws and voter protection because we will, by the power of our vote, put laws on the statute books that bring an end to the dastardly acts of the racist police,” he said.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Will Davis Jr. added his voice to the cry.
“I challenge everyone in this room to get someone not in this room to get out Olive Garden was honored by the Cecil County branch of the NAACP at the Freedom Fun Banquet Saturday night in Chesapeake City. The Elkton restaurant was given the Corporate Community Service Award. Valery Calm-Coleman, chairwoman of the Freedom Fund Committee and Elyse Murray, president of the Cecil County branch, present the award to Stephanie Robinson, general manager of the local Olive Garden.
and vote,” Davis said.
Along with the deeper message, there was also a celebration as the local branch handed out its annual awards.
Michael Lynch was surprised to learn he was the recipient of the 2016 President’s Award. Elyse Murray, president of the Cecil County branch, said Lynch freely and eagerly makes
his photographer skills available to the branch, even traveling out of the area to capture moments for the NAACP group.
Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Port Deposit was given the 2016 Religious Affairs Award for its community service, which includes a food distribution program that feeds more than 300 people each Gerald G. Stansbury, president of the State Conference of the Maryland NAACP, urges his audience at the Cecil County NAACP Freedom Fund banquet to vote in Tuesday’s election.
Cecil County Public Libraries was the recipient of the 2016 Education Visionary Leadership Award for its effort to make education available to all. In receiving the award, CCPL director Morgan Miller said she finds it exciting to see who uses the branches.
“When I go to the library I see people of all colors, education and economic levels learning together,” Miller said.
Olive Garden was awarded the 2016 Corporate Com-
munity Service Award for its donation of more than 8,000 pounds of food for the hungry in Cecil County. Stephanie Robinson, general manager, accepted the award for the Elkton restaurant.
While both the recipients of the 2016 Education Awards were too busy with school to attend the banquet, Kwansma Arku and Andrea Nickle were recognized. Both North East High School graduates were given $500 toward their college education.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Will Davis joined the many voices at the Cecil County NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet Saturday in urging people to show up at the polls Tuesday and vote.
James Wilson and Lisa Smith, participants in the “Human Rope to Stop the Dope” event in Elkton Saturday morning, made it clear where they find their support.