By Marion Williams PhD
On Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m., the 100 Black Men of Pensacola, Inc. held its 17th Annual Tomorrow’s Leaders Beautillion at the New World Landing Restaurant in downtown Pensacola.
The program began at 7:00 p.m. and Mr. Ernest McCorvey served as the Master of Ceremony while Overseer Mathew L. Townsend, pastor from Biloxi, MS gave the opening invocation followed by the welcome of Mr. Arthur Searcy.
The occasion was rendered by Mr. Mark Nesbitt. Mr. Gabriel “Gabe” Brown eloquently gave the Presentations of Beaus, 2014 to the audience prior to dinner being served. The five (5) Beaus outstanding young men from local area high schools were presented as follows:
1) Beau Joel Christopher Armstead from Newpoint High School. He has a 3.5 GPA and plans to major in Music Technology and Business at Bethune-Cookman College in Dayton Beach, Fl. Joel’s future goal is to become a Music Producer. Joel will receive a $1,500.00 scholarship from the 100 Black Men organization. His escort for the evening was Ms. Angela Webb. Joel is the proud son of Rev. and Mrs. Frank and Lisa Armstead.
2) Beau Michael E. Hicks, III is a senior at Milton High School and has a 2.7 GPA. Michael plans to attend FAMU and major in Physical Therapy/Sports Medicine. His goal is to play collegiate football also.
Michael is “all conference football player,” Christian athlete and is very active in the Junior Knights of St. Peter Claver of St. Joseph Catholic Church where is has won the St. Timothy Award for Service. Michael will receive a $500.00 scholarship. His escort for the evening was Ms. Kelana Collins.
3) Beau Mitchell Isaac Hicks is Michael’s twin brother. Mitchell is senior at Milton High School also. He has a 3.0 GPA and is currently enrolled in honor classes.
Mitchell plans to matriculate at FAMU where he plans to major in Computer Engineering. He is also active in the Junior Knights of St. Peter Claver of St. Joseph Catholic Church where he won the St. Timothy Award for Service. He will receive a $500.00 scholarship. Mitchell’s escort for the evening was Gabrielle Brown. Mitchell and Michael are proud sons of Mr. and Mrs. Michael E. and Viola Hicks, Jr.
4) Beau Jeremy Jarreau Stewart is a senior at Booker T. Washington High School. He has a 3.0 GPA. Jeremy plans to attend FSU and major in Sport’s Marketing with future plans of becoming a Sport’s Broadcaster. Jeremy will receive a $1,000 scholarship and his escort for the evening is Ms. Bria Brooks. Jeremy parents are Mr. and Mrs. Jerry (Dec.) and Tina Stewart.
5) Beau Deshon Deshay Stroud is a senior at Booker T. Washington High School. He has a 3.03 GPA and is enrolled in honors classes. He is active in the Band and the Positivity Club.
Deshon plans to matriculate at FAMU where he plans to major in Pre-Med/Sports Medicine and Music. He will receive a $2,000.00 scholarship. Deshon’s escort for the evening was Ms. Lisa Wallace. Deshon is the proud son of Ms. Blondell Stroud.
After the Beaus’ introduction, each was crowned with a colorful Red African Cap (Cuffe’) and Ken-ta Cloth Scarf to mark their ascent to manhood. The Beaus then performed a creative group dance which the audience loved. Approximately 200
beautifully dress guests attended this auspicious affair. The staff at New World Landing next served the prepared dinner.
Upon finishing dinner, Mr. Neal Randall came forth to introduce the guest speaker or “Challenger” for the evening, Mr. Michael Burroughs, Vice President of Senior Production Officer of Gulf Power Company.
Mr. Burroughs earned his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Alabama and joined the Southern Company and work his way up to his present position. Mr. Burroughs speech though short and to the point, challenged the “Beaus” to be believe in God and always do their best to become role models while helping others in the community. The audience and Beaus were very appreciative of this uplifting message Beaus have a responsibility of leadership to fulfill, noted Mr. Burroughs.
Mr. Samuel Horton, President of the 100 Black Men, then presented the awards of the evening. Mr. Horton publicly thanked all of the Community Sponsors for their financial (scholarships) and moral support in working with this year’s Beaus
These valued partners were listed in the back of the Souvenir Booklet placed on the tables. First, member Mark Nisbitt, who served as “Leadership Trainer” of sessions held with the Beaus, was presented with an African Cap (Cuffe) and Kent-ta Scarf. Mr. Burroughs was presented the same, as “Challenger” of the evening. Training sessions topics were; Personal responsibility, Public speaking, Anger management, Financial responsibility, Etiquette training, and Entrepreneurship.
The Beaus were presented additional gifts. These included African Canes, back packs for college with the organization’s logo on them, and the acknowledgment of scholarships for each Beau, noted earlier.
The last award presented this evening was to Mr. William E. “Bill” Byrd as the
“2014 Member of the Year, Trailblazer ” He received a glass inscribed “Award” for his outstanding business and community service.
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