Red Cross recipient of generosity at the Mayor’s Ball

Published 5:59 pm Monday, March 2, 2009

Dear Editor:

Selma has many attributes that distinguishes her as the “Queen of the Black Belt”. There are many explanations for such a noble title; however it is my personal opinion that Selma’s most valuable treasure is unequivocally the “people” of Selma.

On Tuesday February 17th, over 250 people came together to support the First Annual Mayor’s Ball of Selma. This fund-raiser sponsored by the American Red Cross of the Black Belt attracted a diverse audience of different ethnicities and various age groups. Picture this portrait, the “ Queen’s quintessential treasure” and you would view Selma at her BEST! Despite the economic concerns our nation is experiencing, local residents went the extra mile to share the humanitarian concerns of our community by providing support for disaster victims in our city and county. I applaud all who gave donations and those who attended, funds generated went to the Disaster Relief Fund of Dallas County. This stellar affair generated numerous compliments and congratulations on behalf of our staff for a “job well done”.

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It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge some of the men, women, and organizations who worked diligently with me to make our First Mayor’s Ball an overwhelming success. After struggling to find a venue that could accommodate an event of this magnitude, I shared my frustration with Ms. Carver Boynton, General Manager of Selma Mall who helped immediately to resolve this problem by graciously availing the former Goody’s location for the Ball. With over 27,000 square feet of open space, this was the perfect location to create an atmosphere of awe. With no budget to proceed forward, I collaborated with following individuals who embraced the vision and helped me launch the event. Dr. Jabrina Howard, the visionary of the “Selma Someplace Special “ initiative, Mr. Sam Golsom owner of Brownstone Manor, whose spotlight centerpiece stunned the crowd and provided the perfect accentuation for this stellar affair! Mr. Joe Owens, a local caterer who is renowned for quality and taste, worked with Donna Morrow to deliver a presentation fit for a king. Appealing for sponsorship was challenging, nevertheless Alagasco, Aronov, Bama Budweiser, Hills Formal Wear, MBC United Distributors, Ramada Inn of Selma, Screenco, and WHBB Radio provided us with monetary and in-kind donations to launch the event. There were many volunteers who shared their time and talents to help with the folding of invitations, the stuffing of envelopes and the courtesy calls to remind guest to RSVP. But there were some volunteers who went over and beyond to insure the success of the event; Dorothy Brown, Gracie Hollins, and Kesa Williams, Fran Chestnut, and Mildred Parker. We could not have accomplished this event so quickly without the assistance of AmeriCorp Volunteers, Pre-trial Diversion Volunteers, and Selma Fire Department. Lastly, heartfelt thanks to Mayor George Evans and First Lady Genie Evans, who endorsed the event and gave their special blessings along with numerous Mayors from our Black Belt coverage area.

American Red Cross will continue to fulfill our mission by providing immediate relief assistance to the victims of natural or manmade disasters. Please make your contributions to the Black Belt American Red Cross. For further inquiry of the services we provide, please contact us at 334.874.4641. We will be happy to address any of your concerns. Again thank you Selma……. the “Butterfly Capital”!

Jakki Caldwell-Phillips,

Executive Director

American Red Cross of the Black Belt