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Springfield NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet and Call for Nominations

by Jase Vorel

UniteNews Contributing Writer


Our local chapter of the NAACP will host its annual Freedom Fund Banquet on October 28th, in the Doubletree Hotel on Glenstone. This year’s banquet will feature Dwayne Proctor, Ph.D., as keynote speaker.

“It’s been a wonderful turnout since COVID restrictions have been lifted,” Says Kai Sutton, current President of our local branch. “Over 400 people came last year, and we like to give back by asking for nominations for our yearly Community Service Award.”

Nominations are now open until October 9th. “The NAACP board takes a hands-off approach to the nominees, says Kai, allowing members to support one another’s achievements. The organization also highlights those who strive to improve their community, educate the masses, identify problems, and lead the way to fix them.

Previous recipients of the Community Service Award include Cheryl Clay, who served as prior NAACP president, and Nonda Nunnely who received the drum award, the organization’s highest honor, for volunteering.

The Freedom Fund is the NAACP’s largest fundraiser of the year. Funds raised go towards honoring exemplary members of the community through the aforementioned award, as well as youth scholarships, and sponsoring activities in the NAACP’s youth board to foster leadership and professional skills.

The theme of this year’s banquet is ‘Building an inclusive community.’ Dr. Dwayne Proctor will be speaking on this further during his keynote speech.  During his 20-plus years in philanthropy, Proctor has always worked to ensure that American communities were healthy and thriving. He joined MFH in 2021 as President and CEO. The Foundation works to improve health through collaboration, convening, knowledge sharing, and strategic investment, never losing sight of the equity lens that shapes all of its work.

The Freedom Fund Banquet will be held on October 28th, in the Doubletree Hotel on Glenstone. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table that seats eight. There will be a silent auction at the beginning of the event, and all funds go back into providing for the banquet and supporting the youth board. General meetings for our local branch of the NAACP take place every third Saturday of the month, at noon, at the Sanctuary of Praise Church, located at 2245 S Holland Ave.

Mark it on your calendar, and be sure to submit your Nominations for Community Service Award recipients soon! Nominations close on October 9th.

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