Fire­flies Den­ton cel­e­brates 100 Ladies of Ele­gance

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — Fire­flies of Den­ton honored women from all across the Eastern Shore at the first 100 Ladies of Ele­gance event on Sat­ur­day, Oct. 22.

One hun­dred women in busi­ness, ed­u­ca­tion, mil­i­tary and other fields were honored for their con­tri­bu­tions to their com­mu­ni­ties in Dorch­ester, Tal­bot, Caro­line, Kent, Queen Anne, Wi­comico, Worces­ter and Som­er­set coun­ties.

Women from Dorch­ester County honored as Ladies of Ele­gance in­cluded Ar­linda Barnes-Cornish, Deb­o­rah Boulden, Shirley Deshields, Ja­neen Ford, Chareka Har­ris, Omeakia Jack­son, Rhonda Meekins, Nor­malee Miller, Michelle Moaney, Kisha Pet­ti­co­las, Mary Turn­ers-Den­nard and Danielle Van­riel.

Each woman honored re­ceived a cer­tifi­cate from Fire­flies and a Gov­er­nor’s Vol­un­teer Ser­vice Award from Gov­er­nor Larry Ho­gan’s of­fice.

More than 700 peo­ple at­tended the event held at Sail­winds Gover­nors Hall in Cam­bridge. Honorees and guests en­joyed a meet and greet re­cep­tion and din­ner be­fore the night’s pro­gram­ming be­gan.

Host for the evening, co­me­dian Larry Lan­caster of Bal­ti­more, got the au­di­ence laugh­ing with a brief stand-up rou­tine be­fore in­tro­duc­ing the guest pre­sen­ters.

Mem­bers of Women 4 Women, a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sup­port group, shared pow­er­ful sto­ries of their ex­pe­ri­ences with abuse and how they sur­vived. They high­lighted how do­mes­tic vi­o­lence can be a life or death sit­u­a­tion, and urged any­one who is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing abuse, or has a loved one who is, to reach out to Women 4 Women or other re­sources avail­able to help.

Shirley Black­ston, co-pas­tor for In God We Trust Min­istries in Gra­sonville de­liv­ered a mes­sage ac­cord­ing to the night’s theme: “If These Heels Could Talk.”

“If these heels could talk, what would they say?” Black­ston asked. “How about, ‘I made it!’”

Us­ing ev­ery let­ter of the al­pha­bet, Black­ston listed the var­ied strug­gles that a woman’s heels may have car­ried her through, such as abuse, cancer, di­vorce, and loss. She en­cour­aged the au­di­ence to talk about the tough­est things, the things that ev­ery­one would rather keep se­cret.

“My ad­vice to you is, if you haven’t, be­gin to let your heels talk, open up your mouth and start talk­ing,” Black­ston said. “There is free­dom and re­lease when you open up and share. The first time is al­ways the most dif­fi­cult time. Open up your mouth and share, be­cause trust me, you’re help­ing some­body else.”

Spe­cial mu­sic for the event was per­formed through­out the night by Or­lando Phillips of An­napo­lis, The Green’s & Guest, and Eastern Shore En­ter­tain­ment feat. DJ Baby Girl.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Fire­flies Den­ton or­ga­ni­za­tion, visit their Face­book page.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE

Women from Dorch­ester County honored as Ladies of Ele­gance in­cluded Ar­linda Barnes-Cornish, Deb­o­rah Boulden, Shirley Deshields, Ja­neen Ford, Chareka Har­ris, Omeakia Jack­son, Rhonda Meekins, Nor­malee Miller, Michelle Moaney, Kisha Pet­ti­co­las, Mary Turn­ers-Den­nard and Danielle Van­riel.

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