Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club holds banquet, honors residents

Published 11:34 am Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Current and former Vicksburg residents gathered at the Vicksburg Convention Center Saturday to recall old times and honor several residents for their work in the community.

Approximately 180 people attended the Vicksburg Benevolent Homecoming Club’s 48th annual banquet, with some former residents coming from as far as Chicago to visit with friends and relatives and look on as residents were honored as humanitarian of the year, business of the year and received the club’s lifetime achievement award.

The club also awarded 16 scholarships to high school graduates and honored three oratorical contest winners.

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“This event has been going on for 48 years,” Vicksburg Chapter President Willie Glasper said. “For two years during the (COVID-19) pandemic, we did not have the banquet, but we still gave scholarships every year. We haven’t missed a year of giving scholarships.

“That’s what we are all about, uplifting and encouraging our young people,” he added.

Glasper commended Vicksburg residents for their attendance at the banquet, adding, “I want to really say thank you, Vicksburg, for the number; it’s a struggle to get the numbers back up.”

He told the members at one time the banquet drew 800 people and called on the young people in the audience to get involved in the benevolent club and help bring the numbers back up.

“They can carry it on and that’s the survival of this organization,” Glasper said.

Honored during the banquet were:

• Carolyn Flagg-Andrews, Lifetime Achievement Award: A native of Vicksburg, Flagg-Andrews moved to Chicago after graduating from college and returned to Vicksburg, where she is an executive casino host at Ameristar Casino and the owner of Unique Sister’s Boutique. She is a member of Belmont Missionary Baptist Church and a member of the Vicksburg Benevolent Homecoming Club.

• Business owner Clinton “C.J.” Williams, Humanitarian of the Year: Williams is the minister of music at Greater Grove Baptist Church and has worked with other churches in the community.

• Dr. Deborah Stanfield, Business of the Year: A clinical supervisor for an intensive outpatient program designed for substance abusers, in 2021 Stanfield and her husband Johnny Stanfield opened the Vicksburg Event & Business Center, which serves as a venue for many events.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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