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John S. Scott playwright inducted in Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Toledoana Collection

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Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal

By Eddie B. Allen Jr.
Special to the Toledo Journal

When Toledo native John S. Scott looked out into the audience of the first New York play he’d written only six people stared back.

In some ways he was Tyler Perry decades before Tyler Perry came along, starting from an unlikely background and fueled by a love of storytelling – and a desire to create more provocative black characters than Madea.

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
Dr. Scott stands with his family (left to right) Niala Langster, Malaika Bell, Dr. Scott, Neema Bell and Jon’Jama Scott. Front center is Eisley Scott.

Today Scott, 81, is the newest inductee of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library’s Toledoana Collection. The former Bowling Green State University theater professor attended a Nov. 19 ceremony where several of his published works were accepted into the special division of Local History and Genealogy.

Scott, whose plays have attracted countless audience members since that first sparse crowd in New York, joked, “So I guess I’m coming up in the world.”

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
Clyde Scoles, Library Executive Director, Dr. John Scott and Jill Clever, library manager of local history and genealogy, stand together

Library officials including Director Clyde Scoles congratulated Scott before a crowd of about 50 family members, friends and colleagues at the Kent Branch for Scott’s success with scripts like Ride a Dark Horse. Scoles called it a special occasion “to honor a Northwest Ohio playwright,” given the library’s frequent recognition of nationally and internationally known authors.

Rhonda Sewell, external and governmental affairs manager for the library, recalled getting to know Scott when he gave her an adjunct position at Bowling Green State University where he chaired the ethnic studies program in the 1980’s.

“He is the most creative, intellectual person that I know,” Sewell told the audience.

Dr. John Scott | The Toledo Journal
(Left to right) Laneta Goings, Dr. Scott, Jill Clever, and Rhonda Sewell pause for a photo.
Dr. John Scott
Laneta Goings (left), president of Books4Buddies and Rhonda Sewell (right), Toledo Library Manager of External and Governmental affairs, speak at the induction.

District 4 Councilwoman Yvonne Harper was joined by District 1 Councilman Tyrone Riley and Council Member-at-large Larry Sykes in presenting Scott with a City of Toledo resolution.

Scott received additional praises and accolades from Books 4 Buddies co-founder Laneta Goings, program mentor Christopher L. Smith and Dorian Myers, a Books 4 Buddies youth ambassador. As part of Books 4 Buddies programming, Scott conducted the “Hook It Up” eight-week writing workshop for about 16 young men at the Birmingham Terrace homes this year.

Smith and Myers honored Scott with a presentation that included a Books 4 Buddies t-shirt.

Scott’s writings for the stage have featured performers who went on to become some of today’s most popular black actresses in television and film. Among Scott’s works included in the Toledoana Collection are: Afternoons at the A.O. Café, My Little Black Book: A Memoir, Shorty: Six One-Act Plays, and Lizard Therapy.

Along with his literary achievements, Scott carved out a successful career as a director and educator, teaching theater and fine arts at Bowling Green, Jackson State University, Florida Memorial College and other higher learning institutions.

He cited the famed novelist James Baldwin and an elementary school teacher who introduced him to classic literature as among his career influences. Being honored by friends and peers in his hometown is more humbling than other formal recognition, the past recipient of the Ohio Governor’s Award for the Arts told the audience.

“I guess I want to say that the poetry of the community is the best poem out there,” Scott said, “the very best.”

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Receiving scholarships of $500 each, and standing with Woodward alumni are, standing center, JaRoya Ector, Shamar Williams, and Tayviauna Holmes.

By Journal Staff Writer

Woodward High School All-Class Reunion Committee and C.H. Barnett Construction awarded three scholarships to graduating high school seniors on Tuesday, May 8, at Woodward High School 701 E. Central Avenue. The awarding of the scholarships took place during the annual Senior Banquet.

The scholarships were awarded based on grades, and community, and school involvement, and valued at $500.00 each. The recipients were Tayviauna Holmes, Shamar Williams, and JaRoya Ecter.

Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors
Woodward alumni awards scholarships to graduating seniors

Sheila Daniels-Bell is co-chair of the committee and a 1978 graduate. She told The Toledo Journal they just wanted to give back to the students of Woodward.

“Having scholarships for college is so important,” she said. “The money can go to books, living expenses, or whatever, but the money will make a difference,” Mrs. Daniels-Bell said.

Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua is the owner of C.H. Barnett Construction, as well as serving as the co-chair for the Woodward High School All-Class Committee. She is a 1977 graduate of Woodward High School. Her mom, aunt, and cousins attended Woodward. Two of the three scholarships are being sponsored by her construction company, that’s named after her grandfather.

“It’s an honor to be sponsoring the scholarships in my grandfather’s name. Although he didn’t attend Woodward, he grew up in the area and sent my mom and aunt to the school,” she explained.

“I didn’t know I was getting this scholarship,” Shamar said. “I’m shocked, and grateful.” He will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in music.

Tayviauna said she was happy, and thankful to receive money to go to her college education. She will be majoring in social work at the University of Toledo.

“I’m just really excited,” said JaRoya. She, too, will be attending the University of Toledo majoring in engineering.

The Woodward High School All-Class Reunion committee members are Sheila Daniels-Bell, Jeanne Cranon-Fuqua, Yvonne Harper, Margaret Wiggins, Marion Bell, Burrow Alexander III, Sharon McAlister-Collier, and Kimberly Dixon.

United Missionary Baptist Church celebrates 35th anniversary

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United Missionary Baptist Church celebrates 35th anniversary | The Toledo Journal
The Anniversary Committee with, from left, guest speaker, Pastor Roderick Pounds, Rev. Robert Bass, senior pastor, and Julia Holt, founding member, and chairperson of the Trustee Board.

By Journal Staff Writer

For 35 years, the members of United Missionary Baptist Church, 2705 Monroe St, have been worshipping God, and inviting others to that worship. On Sunday, October 14, they celebrated their 35th anniversary by recognizing how far they’ve advanced as a congregation, and where they still, have yet to go.

Participating in the celebration were some of the members of Second Baptist Church in Akron, Ohio. Their Pastor, Roderick Pounds served as the keynote speaker.

Spearheading that celebration was Julia Holt, chairperson of the Trustee Board, and charter member of United Missionary Baptist Church. She told The Toledo Journal what keeps her actively involved at her church. “The members are very loving, and we work well together, plus, they have a genuine love for God,” she said.

As an extension to their anniversary celebration, the members hosted an afternoon fundraiser to further continue church renovations, as well as add to their scholarship fund, and continue their community outreach programs.

Entitled, “A Taste of Culture,” the fundraiser consisted of members of the church dividing up in four groups, with each group taking one of four regions, of the United States. The group then, preparde dishes that are indigenous to that particular region. Attendees would have the opportunity to taste those particular dishes. Further, each group would highlight the history of African Americans from that particular region of the country.

Rev. Robert Bass has been the head Pastor for 15 years. He said the anniversary celebration gives the members the opportunity to reflect on the challenges of the past 35 years, which helps them better map out, their future endeavors.

“One of the biggest obstacles we had to overcome is paying off a 30 year mortgage, in 16 years, with less people than we originally had,” he said. Rev. Bass said that being free of a mortgage, frees up the minds of the congregation, and puts them in a better position to focus on outreach programs, for example.

Rev. Bass further stated that, one of his short term objectives is having the church serve as a technological, and community focal point. “I want this church to be the center piece of the community, where people can come turn to, and get any kind of help they need,” he said.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation by honoring members from the community

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Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
HONOREE'S LEFT TO RIGHT THOMAS STOVALL JR, JESSICA LaValley, WILLIAM RIDDLE, ANN

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

The staff of the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union honored members from the community who’ve helped make the union a success during its 22 years of existence. That show of appreciation took place on Saturday, November 17 at the Pinnacle in Maumee, Ohio, at the Union’s Appreciation Banquet.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
FIRE CHIEF BRIAN BYRD SPEAKS TO AUDIENCE AFTER BEING AWARDED

Honored guests included Chief Brian Byrd, Toledo Fire Department, First lady Sheila Cook of New Life Church of God in Christ, Bernard ‘Pete’ Culp, retired school administrator, Jessica LaValley, nonprofit expert, Randy Oostra, chief executive officer of Promedica, Ann Riddle, executive director of Northwest Ohio Scholarship Fund, Celeste Smith, community and minority health supervisor at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, Michelle Fleetwood, wife to David Fleetwood, head of Local 500, and Tommy, and Tina Butts, business owners.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
SUZETTE COWELL CEO TUFCU

Suzette Cowell, President/CEO of Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, told those in attendance that the honorees have helped make the union a success over the years, and felt it was necessary to publicly honor those individuals.

“I believe in giving people their flowers while they’re still alive,” she told her audience.

Ms. Cowell further shared the trials the union went through over the years, some of which, may seem hard to believe, she said.

Ms. Cowell spoke of the many obstacles that her, and the other founders had to go through to get established.  Closing down, and receiving bad press from Toledo’s daily newspaper, were just two obstacles the union faced during its infancy.

Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union shows appreciation | The Toledo Journal
R&B SOUL SINGER KEITH WASHINGTON

But it was the honorees that helped make the transition from infancy, to a fully established financial institute within the African American community.

Although it was the credit union honoring members of the community, the honorees quickly praised Ms. Cowell.

“The union is honoring us, but we should be honoring them,” Chief Byrd said. “They’re using their skills, and abilities to empower others who were blatantly denied by other financial institutes,” he said.

“After 22 years of existence, the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union is proof that black businesses can survive, and thrive,” said Pete Culp.

Center of Hope Family Services Hosts its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Event for the Community

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Center of Hope Family Services Hosts its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Event thetoledojournal.com

Special to The Toledo Journal

On Thursday, December 20th, 2018, Center of Hope Family Services hosted its 2nd Annual Peace on Earth Holiday event. Sponsors included the William Vaughan Company, Apple Inc., and State Bank. “Peace on Earth is our way of letting families and the community know that we are thinking of them during the holidays,” states Dr. Tracee Perryman, CEO. “Our event is welcoming of diverse cultural holiday traditions, hoping that Peace on Earth is of value to all of us. The holiday season can be a joyous time, but it isn’t necessarily joyous for everyone. Each year, we at Center of Hope strive to bring the community together in unity and solidarity. We create a safe, supportive, warm, welcoming space to let our families and community know that we care about them.”

It seems that message is resonating with the community. The 2018 Peace on Earth attendance doubled from the year before, with about 300 guests partying to festive music. The Lucas County Juvenile Court Lobby was transformed into a “Winter Wonderland” to foster joy, hope, and holiday cheer. Children and families were able to participate in an array of activities. Lucas County Juvenile Court provided craft stations, cookie decorating, and an opportunity for each child to take pictures with Santa Claus. Center of Hope hosted a gift giveaway for all children ages 0-14.

Midway through the program, the crowd paused to honor seven of its Parent Support Program participants. These individuals were recognized for graduating from Center of Hope’s Parent Education Program during the month of December. Others were honored for maintaining employment for 90 days or more through Center of Hope’s workforce development program.

The Central Catholic High School Glee club provided live entertainment, followed by Dr. Tracee Perryman. The Center of Hope ELEVATE program, winners of both the 2018 Ohio Department of Education 21st Century Literacy Achievement, and Excellence and Innovation Awards, performed the finale. The ELEVATE students performed their signature song, “ELEVATE,” which they recorded this summer, and is now available on Soundcloud. Center of Hope concluded the program by sponsored a sit-down community dinner for all guests. For more information about Center of Hope Family Services or its programs, visit www.cohfs.org.

Franklin Park spreads holiday cheer, gives coats, groceries and more

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Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

By Sean Stewart

A drive through the streets of Northside Toledo on Friday’s mild evening would have usually been like any other, dark and quiet. Though at Word of Faith Ministries on Stickney Ave near Woodward High school, the scene was brought up by a more energetic and cheerful tone.

Cars parked along the street are packed with youth, eager to join in on the affair. Though before they opened the doors to the church, on the corner of Stickney and Russell, they are greeted by a man and a dolly hand truck, packed with items halfway to its top.

The man says with a welcoming yet weighty voice, “watch yourself now, careful”.

The children obey as the man carries past. Though when they enter into the building, the darkness of daylight’s fall resides and the kids embrace the warmth of festivity.They are greeted by smiles, laughs and warmth. Also, by gifts.

Over 120 families gathered to receive donations of coats, gloves, and food boxes December 19th. It is a tradition that has been going on for seven years in which Franklin Park Lincoln car dealership has moved to provide a holiday contribution effort to the community.

Foods like potatoes, apples, whole turkeys and canned goods, along with newly bought winter clothing, were donated to families in need of assistance.

“We try to give back to the community” says event organizer Mike Colbert, who also works with Franklin Park Lincoln.

Families were also welcomed to a hot meal dinner courtesy of community volunteers. On the menu was a generous selection of well prepared chicken breast, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and more served with hot chocolate and tea.

“I just love to cook” said Martin McCabe, who cooked and prepared the hot food. He has been with Mr. Colbert in the annual event’s organization since the beginning. “Unfortunately the world’s gonna keep having poor people”.

Aside from the food and winter wear, local barbers and nail stylists also donated their time and skills for good measure. To the tunes of cheerful music, children were able to get their hair cut and shaped up on the church’s stage and nails polished just off to the side.

Franklin Park Holiday Coats The Toledo Journal

“Lots of people hurting” said Rodney Holmes, an elder at Word of Faith who volunteered to help. “This is a gift in and of itself, of giving back. They need help.” Mr. Holmes moves to serve his community in the way he can. As to the vision of Mr. Colbert of Franklin Park, he gives new winter coats to the families of the community, also food by the box.

He does it all with a hearty and welcoming, yet weighty voice. He also does with a dolly, packed halfway to its top.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet focuses on getting people to vote

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NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Members of the NAACP stand with the honorees. From left is, Michael Alexander, first vice president, Rev. Willie Perryman, accepted the award for Rev. Dr. John Roberts, Anita Madison, committee member, honorees, Dr. Crystal Ellis, Tina Butts, and David Fleetwood, with Ray Wood, president.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

With the current political climate in the United States, the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, themed their 103 Freedom Fund Banquet, “Defeat the Hate-Vote. ” Held in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theatre, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd, African Americans’ oldest Civil Rights organization focused their event on celebrating accomplishments of young people, and using their expertise to encourage others to get politically involved.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Kristian Brown, left, media personality, and Tyrone Riley, Toledo Councilman for District 4, recognize the winners of the Crispus Attucks Essay Contest.

Partnering with Councilman, Tyrone Riley, and the NAACP recognized the winners of the Crispus Attucks Essay Contest that, Mr. Riley founded, and hosts annually. Over 100 young people throughout the county, male and female, black, and white, participated in the contest. Of the 100, 14 were selected as the winners, with each splitting a cash prize of $2000.00.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
During her talk, Zuri Hall, co-host of E! News, used humor, and personality to drive home messages such as financial literacy, and the importance of voting.

Then, the organization awarded four individuals with the Freedom Fund Award. Honorees were selected based on community activism, as well as their impact, and the longevity of that impact within the community. The 2018 recipients were Dr. Crystal Ellis, former Toledo Public Schools, TPS, Superintendent, Tina Butts, business owner, and community activist, David Fleetwood, head of Laborers Union Local 500, and Rev. Dr. John Roberts, senior Pastor of Indiana Missionary Avenue Baptist Church.

“Being the Superintendent of TPS was the most rewarding job I had,” Dr. Ellis told the audience after receiving his award. “When I was in that position, I didn’t look at color; I saw all the children as my children,” he said.

When Ms. Butts received her award, she thanked the NAACP, and quickly applauded those whom she works with, for getting people registered to vote.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal
Applauding the honorees were people from all diverse political, and employment backgrounds.

Serving as the keynote speaker of the event was Zuri Hall, co-anchor of E! News and former host of a variety of MTV shows, as well as Toledo native. In a talk seasoned with humor, and a cheerful personality, the 30 year old spoke about her life in Toledo, and ultimately in Hollywood, where she would host her first television show at the tender age of 25.

Ms. Hall told the audience that most people would think, because she attended Ohio State University on a full scholarship, graduated, and started working in Hollywood, she was financially literate, but she quickly dispelled that belief.

She spoke of being in debt, which started in college with getting credit cards, and racking up that debt. Ms. Hall said that debt followed her to Hollywood, and continued to stress her out.

NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet | The Toledo Journal

“Thank God that the NAACP offers courses in financial literacy, so others don’t have to go through what I experienced. Financial education lays the ground work for freedom,” she said.

Ms. Hall also encouraged all people to educate themselves on political candidates, and issues. She said when she first voted in 2008 for then, Senator Barack Obama, she was excited. But when it came time to vote in the midterm elections, two years later, she didn’t have a clue about candidates, and issues.

“Now I study candidates and issues like I was back in college,” Ms. Hall said.

“Our big push this year is getting people out to the polls to vote,” Ray Wood, president of the local chapter of the NAACP told The Toledo Journal. “Part of our effort in encouraging people, especially young people, to vote is utilizing, and recognizing the talents of our young people, like Zuri Hall,” Mr. Wood said.

Herbert Mickler, PAL baseball coach retires after 31 years of service

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Herbert Mickler, PAL baseball coach retires | The Toledo Journal

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

During his 31-year tenure as the head coach of the Police Athletic League, PAL, Padres baseball team, Herb Mickler won 15 championships, including the 2017 championship in which his team went undefeated.

But on Saturday, August 5 at Gunckel Park, located on Division and Belmont, a retirement party was held for Coach Mickler; officially ending his 31-year career.

Not only were family members and former players in attendance, but Toledo city leaders including Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, and Councilman Larry Sykes.

Herbert Mickler, PAL baseball coach retires | The Toledo Journal

Valerie Hughley, Coach Mickler’s daughter, organized the event. “I’m giving my dad this party because he was not only a great man to me, and my two siblings, but to so many other kids in the city,” she told The Toledo Journal.

“I know this retirement is not the end,” said Tami Mickler, daughter. She said, when her father completes one job, he goes on to another.

Brett Revels has been Coach Mickler’s assistant for the past four years and will be taking over as head coach.

“I have big shoes to fill,” he said. But during the past four years, Coach Revels said he learned a lot from his mentor that will make the job go smoother.

“Coach Mickler taught me to have patience with the kids. Some of them come from totally different backgrounds then others, which requires more patients, was just one of the valuable lessons I learned from him,” Coach Revels said.

“This is overwhelming,” Coach Mickler said about the large turnout of people in attendance at his retirement party. “It makes me feel good seeing so many people here,” he said.

The former 1953, National Golden Gloves, Lightweight Champion, somewhat confirmed his daughter, Tami Mickler’s suspicion of not totally retiring.

Coach Mickler laughed and said, “I’m not going to totally stop helping kids. I’m going to still work with them and try to help them do well in life. There are too many kids out here that need help.”

Lee Johnson, Jr. celebrates birthday with family and friends

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Lee Johnson Birthday DSC_4136 | The Toledo Journal

On Friday, November 23, 2018, was a day that turned out to be an exciting evening for Lee Johnson, Jr., as he celebrated his birthday with over 40 family and friends, with some coming from out-of-town.

As the youngest and only brother of seven siblings, Lee has five sisters (one is deceased) who celebrated with him and they are Malinda and Yvonne Johnson, Tena Morales, Darlene Booth and Deloris Johnso-Coogler. His cousins, GG and John came from Chicago, Illinois and there were many of his nieces, nephews a great nephew, brother-in-laws, along with a host of other relatives and friends, in attendance.

Although, Mr. Johnson is a Scott High grad, he celebrated his special day with the Libbey all class grads’ annual cabaret in the Garden Lake Banquet Hall. And, as a coincidence, a friend he grew up with, Diane Parker, who attended Libbey, (husband Sylvester) was there and her birthday was on the same day.

Lee said, “I would love to thank my Johnson family, who I was impressed with and friends, plus Francine Coogler-Boyd, for helping me to have a very awesome time and we wish you a Happy Holiday”

As a native of Toledo, Mr. Johnson is a faithful union member of Laborers Local 500.

Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper the $115,000+ woman

The Debs-In-Waiting will compete for Miss. Debutante 2019 in one calendar year.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

For 18 weeks, 27 young women participated in various workshops that would prepare them for womanhood, such as etiquette, college preparedness, fitness, and ballroom dancing.

They would attend an Etiquette and Health Luncheon, a Mother/Daughter Luncheon, and participate in a talent show the week leading into the Debutante Cotillion.

The Debutantes, and their fathers, share a dance before announcing Miss Debutante 2018.

There were a few back stories that occurred during those 18 weeks, as well as at the Fifty-third Annual Debutante Cotillion, held on Saturday May 26, in the Great Hall of the Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.  Sponsored by The Toledo branch of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc., a few of those stories had never occurred in the 53 years of the event.

Those back stories included four sets of twins participating in the event, 13 year old William Palmer Jr., escorted his sister Essence, and won the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort, and all of the debutantes had scholarships totaling seven million dollars.

But the highlight of the night was the crowning of Miss Debutante, Courtney Draper, who earned over $150,000 worth of scholarships.

Courtney Draper, and her escort, Jose Martinez perform the Waltz prior to being crowned Miss Debutante 2018.

When each of the contestants’ bios was read aloud, Ms. Draper, a recent graduate of Toledo School for the Arts, bio was extensive, as well as impressive. Besides being on the honor roll, since kindergarten, belonged to several organizations including National Honor Society, and the Toledo Excel Scholarship Program.

Tariq Hardiman presents LaTosha Forbes, mother to Centraya, with a gift; a recently added tradition done by the escorts.

Further, two of her 10 volunteer services included Flint Water Drive, and Toledo Children’s Hospital.

Ms. Draper was accepted at Bowling Green State University, Wright State University, Eastern Michigan University, and Wittenberg University. She will be attending Wright State in the fall majoring in human resource management, and dance.

“I can’t believe they called my name,” she told The Toledo Journal. “I was like, oh my God, they called my name,” she said.

Miss Debutante 2017, Sara Taite Trail, crowns Courtney Draper, Miss Debutante 2018.

In addition to winning Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper also won first place in the Outstanding Talent competition by performing a contemporary dance. Ultimately, she said, “I want to be a professional dancer.”

To go along with the title of Miss. Debutante, Ms. Draper won $3000. First runner-up, Nakiya White, won $2000, and second runner-up, Christa Parker won $1000.

Outstanding talent winners were, Courtney Draper, Keyara Edwards, who did an original spoken word piece, and Krista Parker, who performed a science experiment.

Ramona Stephenson won Miss Congeniality, and was awarded with a watch from Henry Triplett, owner of Henry’s Jewelry.

Mr. Escort was Justin Moore, who was awarded $300. And the first ever, Junior Mr. Escort was William Palmer Jr, who was awarded $100.

Receiving The President’s Community Scholarship Awards for $2000, were Simone Black, Marissa Dzotsi, Kennedy Harper, Essence Palmer, and Christa Parker.

The members of The Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.