By: Tony R. McCray
The Beta Omicron Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. held their second Lamplighter of Omega Scholarship Banquet at the Hadji Shriner Temple with an estimated crowd of 400 this past Saturday. The Lamplighter of Omega program provides the opportunity for the young men interested in improving their character,
Guest speaker for the occasion was Dr. E Newton Jackson, a former Associate Provost at the University North Florida (UNF). He is now serving as a full tenured Professor in the College of Education at UNF. Dr. Jackson was active in his field of study of Sports Management on the faculties of Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Howard University in Washington D.C. Dr. Jackson inspired the full house audience on the importance of the young men applying themselves in the Lamplighter of Omega Program for life achievements as they move into adulthood.
Joann Gainey of “A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That” decorated the hall with a touch of class deserved by such an event. The dinner was prepared and served by “All in One Catering” with Byron Long, Michell Coger, and Joann Gainey with her husband C.C. Biggs in the kitchen helping the servers to keep the food line moving to serve the baked chicken in mushroom gravy, stuffed mashed potatoes, and green beans.
One of the main purposes of the annual event is to raise funds for scholarships to be awarded to local high school graduations. The Basilus, Vin Durant, stated that he truly enjoyed the message brought by Dr. Jackson and he thought the event was a huge success. Durant shared with the Voice in an interview that he is looking for bigger and better things for the lamplighters such as a visit to the White House. Durant provided the following information on the awards presented:
Middle School Scholar of the Year is Jayden Washington,
Middle School Newcomer of the Year is Christopher Page,
Middle Lamplighter of the Year is Brandon Brantley,
High School Scholar of the Year is DeShawn Brundidge,
High School Newcomer of the Year is Jaylan Rawlings and
High School Lamplighter of the Year is Dwayne Kelley Jr.
Mathis Family Perseverance Award of $1000 was presented to Marcus Payne.
Outstanding Community Service Awards of $500 was presented to DeShawn Brundidge, Terrin Tanksley, Eric Allen and Brandon Brantley. Parent of the Year is Lynette Bonner and Staff Member of the Year – Vanessa Phillips.
1. Faith Franklin – West Florida Advanced Technical High
2. Deja White – Pensacola High
3. Olivia Abney – Pensacola High
4. Raesha James – Pine Forest High
5. Taylor Wilkerson – B.T. Washington High
6. Tiana Hendricks – Tate High