VHBC doles out $7,900 in scholarships for local students

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club dispersed $7,900 in scholarships to 16 local students during the club’s 39th Annual Brunch at St. Mary’s Center on Saturday.

The group’s reunion began Thursday night and ends this morning with a farewell worship service at 9 a.m.at Bethel AME Church.

The VHBC was founded in 1975 by Booker T. Wilson and Richard Dorsey, who aimed to reunite family and friends who have left Vicksburg. With a motto of “Happiness is … Coming Home!” the organization looks to improve both Vicksburg and its citizens.

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Since its inception, the club has raised more than $75,000 for charity and has established chapters in Chicago, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

The scholarship recipients were:

• Founder’s Scholarship – Damon D. Stamps, $500

• Chicago Chapter Scholarship – Ja’Meshia L. Watkins, $1,000

• Edward & Ernestine Williams Scholarship – Gerald D. Glass Jr., $500

• Harry Powell Memorial Scholarship – Cretesha M. Kelly, $500

• Alfred Dillard Memorial Scholarship – Tiara M. Roby, $300

• Oral Project Scholarship – Brittanie M. Smythe, $500

• Acasia Rochelle Lee Memorial Scholarship – Tana E. Starnes and Marquis J. Goodwin, $500

• Theresa P. Williams Memorial Scholarship – Carlisa C. Jenkins, $500

• Hattie Knox Memorial Scholarship – Andre’ D. Terry, $500

• St. Mary’s Catholic Church Scholarship – Austin M. Terrell, $500

• Mozella Flaggs Memorial Scholarship – Lemichal P. Anderson, $500

• Wanda Y. Newell Scholarship – Kiera L. Parson, $500

• Hamilton Ben & Janie Brown Sr. Memorial Book Scholarship – Terrence L. Defrance, $500

• Coach McClelland Memorial Scholarship – Madison Cooper

Other awards announced during the weekend include:

• Humanitarian of the Year – Ardis T. Williams

• Lifetime Achievement Award – James Dillard

• Business of the Year – Carson Bail Bonding

• Speaker Award – Dr. Wanda Y. Newell

The winners of the 2014 VHBC Oratorical/Essay Contest were:

Essay: Machiah Martin, first place; Johnathan Sullivan, second place; Jacora Freeman, third place; Amber Gaston, honorable mention.

Oratorical: Jamerica Dixon, first place; Gabrielle Terrett and Louis Ellis, second place; Aaron Terrett, third place.