Professor offers tips on healthy choices at annual NAACP banquet
The Montgomery County-Radford City-Floyd County Branch of the NAACP recently held its 37th Freedom Fund Banquet in Latham Ballroom at the Inn at Virginia Tech.
Close to 400 members and supporters attended.
The program commenced with Roxanne Beamer leading the singing of James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
The 18th Nannie B. Hairston Award, for longtime service to the NAACP, went to the Rev. Archie Richmond. Richmond moved to the New River Valley in the early 1950s and was a key figure in bringing integration to the area peacefully, but he did so through civil disobedience of local segregation ordinances.
He was a beloved principal of the Friends Elementary School in Christiansburg before going on to work for the national administration of the Boy Scouts of America. Richmond was one of the speakers at last year’s banquet.
Youth Council member Alyssia Sims sang a solo rendition of “Love Will Save the Day.”
The keynote speaker at this year’s banquet was Alison Scott of the College of William and Mary. Scott’s presentation was titled “Health Starts in Our Communities: The Prevention Crisis.”
She laid out the facts about health challenges, especially in the African-American community, and she suggested measures that could be taken for all people to lead healthier lives.
Health is not something we get at the doctor’s office, but is significantly influenced by the conditions in which we live, work and play.
The opportunity to be healthy begins at birth and continues across the lifespan.
She concluded that by embracing the work of primary prevention in our communities, we can work toward providing all with the opportunity to make healthy choices, irrespective of income, race or education.
Scott’s presentation was the fourth in a series of events that the NAACP sponsored in 2012 under the aegis of Project HELP: Healthy Eating, Lifestyles, and Physical Activity. The series was made possible by a $2,000 grant from the national NAACP. The local branch was one of only seven branches nationwide to be awarded the grant. The other events were a healthy cooking demonstration for the Youth Council in May, a community program on “The ABC’s of Diabetes” in June, and healthy snacks and physical activities at the annual Juneteenth Celebration. The branch will be seeking a continuation of this grant for this year.
The banquet concluded with the attendees holding hands and singing “We Shall Overcome” to indicate their commitment to continuing work for civil rights and the betterment of all people in the New River Valley.
Sponsors of the banquet were recognized with plaques.
Silver Sponsors, at the level of $1,000, were: Carilion New River Medical Center; Food Lion, Inc.; Virginia Tech, Office of the President; and Warm Hearth Village.
Bronze Sponsors, at the $700 level, were: Asbury United Methodist Church; Community Foundation of the NRV; Community Housing Partners; Corning, Inc., Deli-Mart Inc.; LewisGale Montgomery Hospital; Montgomery County Democratic Committee; Moog Inc., Components Group; Schaeffer Memorial Baptist Church; U.A.W., Local 2069; and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.
– Submitted by James Klagge
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