The Valdosta Daily Times
Thursday night belonged to the youth as the 100 Black Men of Valdosta held its annual Black Tie Gala to to raise funds for its numerous scholarship and mentoring programs.
The highlight of the evening was provided by the Valdosta High School 6A State Champion Boys Quartet, who harmonized beautifully and serenaded the large audience of community leaders, educators and public servants at the Valdosta Middle School. Joshua Sharper, Dexter Sharper II, Dylan Sharper and Antonio Hall comprise the award winning musical quartet.
Donald “Butch” Williams was the emcee for the evening, with the welcome eloquently provided by Nicole Haugabrook, 7, the daughter of Nathaniel and Dr. Artrice Haugabrook.
Following dinner, Kenneth Cutts, a congressional staff member with Congressman Sanford Bishop’s office, filled in for the Congressman, who was unable to attend due to a death in the family.
Cutts, an attorney who was recognized by Georgia Trend in its “40 under 40” annual listing twice, delivered an inspiring presentation filled with quotes, anecdotes, poetry, and common sense advice. He said he was very pleased to be able to support the mission of the 100, as they are dedicated to “our young people; our future doctors, lawyers, engineers and presidents of the United States.”
Cutts said that youth need all the encouragement they can get from everyone around them to be successful in life.
“The top of the list is education. As sculpture is to marble, education is to the soul. It’s not where you start in this life, it’s where you finish.”
He ended with the poem, the “Bridge Builder,” which emphasizes how it’s up to all of us to build bridges for our youth to cross over.
Pres. Roy Copeland and Vice Pres. Willie Head presented a number of benefactor recognition awards to community leaders and businesses who contributed to the extensive renovations of the new 100 house on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The house was moved from its former location in two halves, put back together and completely renovated to serve as the permanent home of the local chapter. There will be a dedication of the house in the coming weeks.
Copeland and Head recognized Victor Bivins, Dr. Charlene Blache, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Copeland, Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Haugabrook II, Jerry Jennett, Jesse Maranville, Ashley Paulk, Trey Sherwood, Mr. and Mrs. David Troy, 1st Federal Savings and Loan, Altman and Barrett architects, Ferrell Scruggs Foundation, IPG architects, Lovell Engineering, the Public Art Advisory Committee, Reames Construction, Stokes Masonry Company, the Scruggs Company, Valdosta-Lwondes County Industrial Authority adn Waller Heating and Air.
Following the benefactor presentations, Copeland and Head presented community service awards to Sylvester Davis, Leroy Smith, Kay Harris, Sandra Tooley, and Marcus Shine.
Two of the organization’s members were recognized for their 18 months of project management for the 100 house, Willie Head and Lymus Johnson.
Also recognized were the sponsors: Walmart, 1st Federal, Georgia Power, Coleman Talley, Converse Bright, Lowndes County schools, Valdosta schools, South Georgia Medical Center, and Southeastern Federal Credit Union.
The 100 Black Men Valdosta chapter sponsors several fund raisers during the year, including the annual barbecue competition, to raise money for its programs, which include the SAT prep course for students, scholarships, the chess program, the black history month exhibit, and the Thanksgiving food fest at the Salvation Army.