DENTON — The Caroline County Branch of NAACP held its 2019 Freedom Fund Awards Luncheon near the close of 2019, at the Caroline County 4-H Park, with keynote speaker Gerald G. Stansbury, president of the NAACP Maryland State Conference, who was completing his final year as state president.

Stansbury, who has served as president since 2007, gave a message grounded in the Martin Luther King Jr. sermon “Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool,” based on the parable recorded in the Gospel of Luke.

Stansbury challenged all to be mindful of the demarcation between the “things of life and the ends of life” — do not let the means by which we live out-distance the ends for which we live and do not fail to realize our dependence on others, he said.

Presentations to award honorees were made by Caroline Branch President Berl Lovelace and branch executive committee member Dr. Willie G. Woods. The Business Achievement Award was presented to Briggs Bros. Plumbing Inc., owned by John and Kenneth Briggs. The Faith-Based Organization Award was presented to the Denton Church of Free Seventh-day Adventists, Elder Terrance D. Nichols, pastor.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Terenda Thomas to Barbara F. Prattis posthumously, with Prattis’ son Kordell accepting the honor in her memory.

Youth assistants during the event, all members of the Caroline County Youth Council of the Maryland State Conference of Youth and College Division, received certificates of recognition. They were Jahzara Foster, Chyna Slaughter, Tahlyiah Thomas, Tre’Vaughn Watson and Jeremiah Ricketts.

To the surprise of the speaker, Lovelace presented the President’s Award to Stansbury, in collaboration with former state president and former Talbot County Branch President Walter Black, current Talbot Branch President Richard Potter, Dorchester County Branch President James Pinkett, Wicomico County Branch President Mary Ashanti, Queen Anne’s County Branch President L.C. Lawrence, former state Vice President and former Montgomery County President Anita Neal Powell and Former Talbot County Branch President Otis Sampson.

State Sen. Addie Eckhardt, R-37-Mid-Shore, presented each honoree with a citation from the Maryland General Assembly in recognition of their achievements.

Toastmaster for the program was the Rev. Kevin Brummell of Ross Chapel, Preston Circuit of the Africa American Episcopal Church. Music was provided by the Rev. Kevin and Cynthia Brummell, with accompanist Freddie Brummell.

Other program participants included the Rev. Clark Green, pastor of Bell’s Chapel AME Church, and Alfreda Dennis-Bowyer, accompanist James Coursey and Pat Guida.

Members of the branch program planning committee were Norma Robinson, Darlene Lovelace, Ezola Webb, Doretha Coursey and Patrice Flamer.

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