The Bulletin Board: Goldsboro Front Porch Council, Inc., holds Celebration Luncheon

Photos submitted


Goldsboro Front Porch Council 2016 Honorees were (top photo, Front Row, left-to-right): Commissioner Velma Williams, Annie M. O’Neille, Marva Hawkins, Eloise Dilligard, Cynthia Kendricks-Oliver, Taryn I. Perkins. (Back Row, left-to-right): Kenneth Bentley, Travis Davis, Eartha Melton, Thelma Mike, Oscar Redden, Margie Hopkins and Charles Rowe. S.L. Harkness Scholarship recipients were (above photo, left-to-right): Marva Hawkins, Aquasha Beveritt, Anisa Williams, Darinekia Siplin, and Sammie L. Harkness.

The Goldsboro Front Porch Council, Inc. (GFPC), held their First Annual Celebration Luncheon on Sat., August 6, 2016, from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Westside Community Center in Sanford, with the theme, “Pathways to History”.

   Mr. Kenneth Bentley served as Master of Ceremonies. The program began with everyone singing, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Mrs. Thelma Mike gave the Invocation; Rev. Vernon McQueen, Council Chairman, extended Words of Welcome.  Sanford City Commissioner, Hon. Velma Williams stated the Occasion. Greetings were given by former Sanford Mayor, Hon. Larry Dale. An interpretive dance was performed with grace and fervor by the Expressly You School of the Arts Dance Team, to the song, “Rise Up”, by Andra Day.

   Pastor Lowman Oliver, St. Paul M.B. Church, gave the Blessing of the Food; E&J Catering and Sweet Harmony Chapter #388, Order of Eastern Star, served lunch.  The program continued with soloist Extraordinaire Eddie Jackson singing, in his own “Motown” style, “Wind Beneath My Wings”. Pre-recorded music was provided throughout the event by D.J./Music Engineer Ken Moore.

   Mr. Melvin Philpot presented the 2016 GFPC Award Categories and Honorees. Trailblazer Award: Mrs. Annie O’Neille and Mrs. Francis C. Oliver. The Pioneer Award: Mrs. Thelma Mike and Mr. Kenneth Bentley. The Legacy Award: Commissioner Velma Williams and Mr. Oscar Redden The Humanitarian Award: Ms. Marva Hawkins and Mrs. Eartha Melton. The Youth in Motion Award: Ms. Taryn I. Perkins and Mr. Travis Davis.

   Chairman McQueen recognized past and present Board Members, employees, City officials, liaisons, volunteers and everyone who has helped GFPC in any way and thanked them for their service. He expressed thanks and appreciation also to the community for their continued support of GFPC programs. Pastor Calvin Donaldson, House of Christ Ministries, gave the Benediction.

   History/Overview of the Goldsboro Front Porch Council. In May of 2001, then Governor Jeb Bush officially designated Goldsboro in Sanford, Florida as a Front Porch Florida Community. The Front Porch Initiative was designed to provide designated communities with the means by which to participate in the process to once again take back their neighborhoods and make them exciting places to live, work and play.

   The designated communities would be assisted by the Office of Urban Opportunity (OUO) to reach their goals and bring others to their aid. OUO would work to support them by uniting individuals, neighborhoods, resources and cooperating partners with a common goal of reclaiming their communities. Residents, service providers, government, and other interested parties joined together to rebuild the Goldsboro Community.

   The community and the Goldsboro Front Porch Council developed six (6) areas of concern: Elderly Services, Education and Crime Prevention, Youth Services, Housing, Economic Development, and Infrastructure. GFPC has leveraged local, state and federal partnerships leading to neighborhood investments of over $5 million dollars. Volunteers have provided service hours valued at over $500,000 in the Goldsboro Community.

   Even though there is no current support from the Governor’s Office, the GFPC continues to provide an array of services to the residents.  These services include but are not limited to: Last Best Chance for High School Graduation Program, Youth Education Leadership Development Academy (YELDA), ACT/SAT Preparation, Summer Reading Program, Referrals, Tutoring, Community Meeting Space, Computer Access/Use, Assistance from the Office of U.S. Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Window A/C Program for the Elderly, Minor Home Energy/Other Improvements, Asthma Initiative, Youth Educational and Cultural Field Trips, Home/Business Painting Program, Community Clean-Ups, Business Grants for Improvements, Grant Writing Workshops, Business Plan Development Workshops, and Events for the Elderly.

   Former Board Member and staff: Pastor Valerie Henry Walker, Marjorie Hopkins, Arthur Mae Scott, Larry Cherry, Camilla Barnes, Herbert Cherry (deceased), Rev. Hezekiah Ross, Cynthia Walden, Eloise Dilligard and Charles Rowe (Consultant).

   The Goldsboro Front Porch Council is a community and neighborhood development organization located at 1211 W. Historic Goldsboro Blvd. in Sanford; office hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Telephone: 407-915-6088.  Board Members: Vernon McQueen, Chairman; Kenneth Bentley; Melvin Philpot; Eartha Melton; Mae Graham-Siplin; Thelma Mike; Marva Hawkins; Joyce Baker; Joyce Davis; Algerine Miller; Turner Clayton; Willie King; Willie Hooks; Wilbur Hawkins; Sylvia Drake-Izqierdo; and Velma Williams (Consultant).


   • The Sammie L. Harkness Scholarship Foundation recently awarded their 2016 Annual scholarships of $400 each to four local students: Aquasha Beveritt, a Seminole High School graduate, received the Richard L. Evans, Jr. Scholarship.  Mr. Evans, a 1952 graduate of Crooms Academy, a Retired Educator, Legendary Athletic Coach, and High School Principal of 22 years, influenced the lives of countless students aspiring to be athletes and positive contributors to their community.

   Aquasha has been accepted at Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, FL; she will pursue a degree in Social Work. Two scholarships named in honor of Marva Hawkins were awarded this year. Ms. Hawkins, a 1955 Crooms Academy graduate, a consummate public servant, and ardent supporter of Crooms Academy and FAMU, recently retired after 48 years of employment with the Sanford Herald and public/community service. She is truly an inspiration to the residents of Sanford/Seminole County and beyond.

   The recipients are: Anisa Williams, a Seminole High School graduate. She plans to attend Seminole State College in the Fall to major in Physical Therapy; and Da'on Pouncey, a graduate of Crooms Academy Information of Technology. He will be attending Seminole State College to pursue a degree in Digital Design and Media.  Darinekia Siplin, daughter of Ms. Frances Manning, a graduate of Seminole High School, was awarded the Rosa L. Myers Scholarship, named in honor of Harkness' mother. Darinekia plans to attend Seminole State College where she will pursue a career in Healthcare Management.

   Congratulations and best wishes to these outstanding students! Thanks to the Harkness Foundation for your continued efforts in providing scholarships for our local students.


   • The Youth Ministry at Greater New Mt. Zion M.B. Church, 1720 Pear Ave. in Sanford, is hosting a Youth Revival Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 18-21, 2016.   The service times are as follows: Thurs., Aug. 18 and Fri., Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.; on Sat., Aug. 20, Revival Fellowship Day on the church grounds starting at 12 noon.  The close-out service will be Sunday, Aug. 21 at 11 a.m.  There will be great speakers, inspirational music and more.   Everyone is cordially invited to come out and join with the Youth Ministry in these revival services.  Elder Cornelius Blue, Pastor.

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