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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.

Third Baptist Church hosts appreciation for Mothers Louise James and Ophelia Williams

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From left are, Mick Collins, choir director, Sarah Lee, past retired honoree, Mothers, Louise James, and Ophelia Williams, current retired honorees, and Frances McFarland, past retired honoree.

By Journal Staff Writer

Over 108 years of combined vocal experience between Mothers, Louise James, and Ophelia Williams, has officially ended for Third Baptist Church, 9775 Angola Rd, choir.

Sunday, June 23, at the church, both long standing vocalists hung up their choir robs, to sit amongst the parishioners they faced for many years.

Besides honoring the two Mothers of the church, the adult, men’s and youth choir were all honored, as they have been, for the past seven years, during Third Baptist Church Appreciation Day, with the theme, “Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Started by Mick Collins, director of music, he told The Toledo Journal that, holding an appreciation celebration for the choir may not be considered the norm, but he felt it was long overdue.

“I thought it would be a nice gesture for all the work that they do,” he said.

Each member of the three choirs received a gift, Mr. Collins said. But the focus of the day was directed on the two retirees.

Mother James said she has been singing in the choir for 50 years, and said it helped keep her young. But due to health related issues, she said it’s time for her to step aside.

“It’s time for me to step aside, and let the young folks take over,” she said. “I really appreciate the honor I’m receiving today, and the fact they said they’ll miss me,” Mother James said. Although she won’t be officially in the choir, Mother James said she knows she’ll feel as if she’s supposed to be singing with them.

“I won’t let my retirement stop me from singing amongst the congregation,” she added.

“I’m old, and can’t hit those high notes like I used to,” Mother Williams bluntly explained. “I will miss the structure of preparing, and singing, as well as just learning new songs,” she said.

“It has been a wonderful 58 years, and I am going to miss it,” Mother Williams said.

Junior High Afro-Ball; a graduation into maturity

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The Toledo Journal | Junior High Afro-Ball
Being sharply dressed didn’t stop, from left, Dmarea Rankin, Julius Akins, Jaylon Akins, and Damond Robinson from dancing.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Although at first glance, the 35th annual Junior High Afro-Ball may seem like it’s just a dance, but according to organizers, it’s much deeper than a dance; it’s a graduation into maturity.

Over 950 students throughout the Toledo Metropolitan Area, and representing Toledo Public Schools, Charter, and Parochial, attended the annual event held at the Seagate Convention Center in downtown Toledo, on Saturday, May 19. Themed, “The future belongs to those who prepare,” the ball was just the icing on the cake, with preparations beginning months in advance.

Junior High Afro-Ball

Weeks leading up to the ball, letters were sent out to area high schools asking the principals to nominate two students, who would represent their school, at the 2018 Afro-Ball. A total of 40 kids, from 20 different schools were then invited, along with their parents, to attend a banquet at Scott High School, days before the event. Students were celebrated for their character, and accomplishments. Both students, and parents were reminded that Grace Community Center, and their partners, wanted to work with the students the coming year, as well as throughout high school, in order to better prepare them for college, or being career ready. Then, while at the ball, those 40 students had a special VIP section reserved for them.

Junior High Afro-Ball
Dancing, centered, and facing each other are Danae Brown, with her back facing, and Mariah Searcy; Jada Willis, left, looks on.

Elaine Page, executive director of the Grace Community Center, which organizes the event, told The Toledo Journal, “Besides being a celebration of diversity, which we have diverse groups of students, in attendance, it’s also about togetherness,” she said.

Junior High Afro-Ball
Besides dancing, kids could play various games. Patrick Huggins, left, and Lonnie Williams play a game of Jenga.

Ms. Page added by saying that the more important part about the Afro-Ball comes when Grace Community Center, as well as their partners, pairing up with the schools, the principals, the teachers, students, and parents, to help them be better prepared for the future.

“Tonight is rites of passage,” she said. “The students are here, without their parents, and they have to make the right decisions, while here, without them. The correct decision making process will help them later on throughout school, and life,” Ms. Page said.

Junior High Afro-Ball
From left are, Bryce Harbaugh, chairman of Grace Community Center Board, Jay Shavers, youth director at Grace Community Center, and three Afro-Ball attendees, Carmello Taite, Moriah Robinson, and Reona Pryor-Allen, and Elaine Page, director of Grace Community Center.

Bryce Harbaugh, chairman of Grace Community Center’s Board said, “If we can get students to think it’s cool to be responsible, and mature, then we would’ve helped make a better person.”

Art Tatum Center Honors Aretha Franklin

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Toledoans honor Aretha Franklin | The Toledo Journal
Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio with guest vocalist Theresa Harris performed for the "The Soul of a Queen” program at the Art Tatum Center.
Brett Collins Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center talk to the audience about Aretha Franklin

By Michael Daniels Journal Staff Reporter

On Monday, March 25th the Art Tatum Center presented a special program at the Kent Branch Library Auditorium entitled, “The Soul of a Queen”, a free concert to celebrate the 77th birthday of Aretha Franklin.

Ms. Franklin who was born on March 25, 1942, and passed away in August of 2018, she left behind a legacy of music and civil right activism that will never be forgotten. Even though many have followed behind her, there will never be another one like Aretha Franklin. She was the undisputed, “Queen of Soul” who surpassed all generations and cultural boundaries with her music.

The audience at Art Tatum Center Honors Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

To pay tribute to her in a style only fitting for a queen the center chose a former Toledo musician and his band the Sir Kalvin Hughes Trio with guest vocalist Theresa Harris to perform for the program. Mr. Hughes who is a big fan of Aretha Franklin and an extraordinary musician himself in his own right had a personal story to tell the audience about Aretha Franklin’s Toledo connection.

After working as the musician at Warren AME Church here in Toledo he accepted a job as minister of music at Aretha Franklin’s father’s Church, New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. ‘My whole objective in taking the job was to one day meet the Queen of Soul and let her hear me play, he said. ‘Every year she puts on a gospel concert at the church and she is there in person.’

Phi Delta Kappa Inc. members enjoy a moment with Sir Kalvin Hughes
(center) before the program begins.

Sure enough, the time for the concert and sure enough the Queen of Soul was there and heard Mr. Hughes play, ‘Evidently she liked what she heard,’ he said. ‘because later when her regular organist took ill, she called me and asked me to accompany her to Philadelphia’ when she performed for the Pope. Following that, I became her organist and went with her on tour. ”When I applied for the job at New Bethel, I had no idea that one day I’d be playing for Aretha Franklin, I mostly just wanted to meet her, said Mr. Hughes. ‘Aretha Franklin is special to me because she opened up so many doors for me that I never thought would happen, and she took me to higher heights. I never would have gotten those opportunities if had not been for the Queen of Soul’, he said. ‘Working with her was phenomenal.’

After telling his story of his life with Aretha, Mr. Hughes and his Trio played a little lite jazz to warm the audience up. Then he invited guest vocalist Theresa Harris to join them and they tore into Aretha Franklin’s hits and standards. This was the moment the audience had been waiting for and everyone was thrilled.

The Art Tatum Organization Board members are (back L-R) Londa Ramsey and Brett Collins: Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center. (front L-R) Joan M. Harris, Dorcel Dowdell, and Frances C. Collins, Ph.D.

The evening program began with an introduction from Brett Collins the Librarian Specialist for the Art Tatum African American Resource Center. He reminded everyone of the importance of Aretha Franklin’s music and her work in the community saying, ‘ it’s never too late to honor someone like Aretha Franklin who’s done so much for our souls, it’s important to honor legends because they are the ones who lay the footprints down for us to follow’.

Sir Kalvin Hughes tells his own personal story to the audience about Aretha Franklin’s Toledo connection.

He also informed everyone of the upcoming documentary Amazing Grace, the story of the making of Aretha Franklin’s largest selling album by the same name.

Race for the Cure

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Race for the Cure | The Toledo Journal

By Michelle Martin
Journal Staff Writer

One in eight women are affected by breast cancer and five of these affected women will pass away each week. African American women are also 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Race for the Cure_Brown-Mickels Family | The Toledo Journal
Brown-Mickels Family

While these numbers may be frightening, there is still hope. Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio has donated over $17 million to breast cancer research and local services, providing for thousands of local women. Twenty five percent of the collected donations are donated to cancer research, while 75 percent supports breast cancer awareness and preparedness in Northwest Ohio.

Race for the Cure FI_Aerobic Exercise encouragement | The Toledo Journal
Aerobic Exercise encouragement with Erika White

Race for the Cure_Children of the community volunteer | The Toledo Journal
Children of the community volunteer during the event.

This year, thousands gathered at the 25th annual Toledo Race for the Cure Sept. 30 in downtown Toledo. The event is held to raise breast cancer awareness and to celebrate survivors.

The 2018 race specifically honored survivor Rena Raga and the memory of Kelli Andres, wife and mother, who passed away this year.

Race for the Cure | The Toledo JournalThe day’s events included a Kid Zone at Fifth Third Field, a Survivor Parade, and a survivor ribbon photo taken with a flying drone. New this year was a survivor’s trolley that transported those who could not participate in the race.

About 20,000 people came to walk, run, volunteer, or watch the race which continues to support the foundation’s $1 million fundraising goal each year.

That goal is well on its way to being reached, considering the 10,000 paid participants as well as a $55,000 donation from Ford Motor Company towards the continued research for the cure.

Second Baptist celebrates 10th Pastoral anniversary

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Second Baptist celebrates 10th Pastoral anniversary | The Toledo Journal
The Pastors and First Ladies in attendance for the afternoon service. From left are Pastor Randall, and First Lady Wanda Carter, Pastor Tim, and First Lady Felisha Pettaway, Dr. Jerry, and First Lady Debra Boose, and Pastor Michael and First Lady Sabrina Prince.

Second Baptist Church, located at 9300 Western Maumee Road in Monclova, Ohio celebrated the 10th Pastoral anniversary of their leadership, Dr. Jerry and First Lady Debra Boose. Held on Sunday, September 23 at their church, visitors from other religious communities, as well as leadership from the political community were in attendance.

Second Baptist celebrates 10th Pastoral anniversary | The Toledo Journal
Members of the anniversary committee present Dr. Jerry and First Lady Debra Boose with an all-expense paid cruise.

Divided in two services, Dr. Nathan Prochere of Tree of Life Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, delivered the word for the morning service, while Pastor Tm Pettaway of Walk the Word Ministries, located in Toledo, delivered the afternoon service.

Proclamations from political leadership, tokens of love from the religious community, and an all-expense paid cruise, from the members of Second Baptist Church, were amongst the many gifts presented.

Second Baptist celebrates 10th Pastoral anniversary | The Toledo Journal
The community partners that have helped Second Baptist over the years

And although the day was about the leadership of Second Baptist Church, Dr. and First Lady Boose, made sure many of the guests, as well as the members of the church, received gifts as well.

Kaye Williams, chairperson for the 10th Pastoral anniversary explained to The Toledo Journal why Dr. and First Lady Boose were deserving of the celebration, and gifts.

She said that, when we first started out, the church was located in a small building. Over the years membership began to grow, and to accommodate that growth, a church, with 10 ½ acres was purchased.

“Dr. Boose has taught that the ministry of Christ should be delivered outside the walls of the church,” she said. “He has been instrumental in a lot of community programs throughout the area, including job readiness programs, working with those with drug and alcohol addiction, and feeding the homeless. He’s an example for both the religious and secular community,” Mrs. Williams explained.

And unlike many wives of a Pastor, First Lady Boose recently returned to the work force. Between her duties at the church, and at her place of employment, she said she’s in a better position to serve the community.

“I’m able to see the struggles, as well as the character of this new generation. There’s a greater need to minister to them, and show that many of the things they engage in, and consider cool, aren’t beneficial for them,” she said.

“Today has been very beautiful. I’m proud of the leadership in the church for making it a success,” Dr. Boose told the congregation.

The retired fireman, who served his community for 30 years, still finds time to give back.

“I still work because Jesus said make disciples. I’m supposed to work, and educate the people on who they really are. Part of my mandate is to show them how to take back what they enemy has taken from them,” Dr. Boose 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.”

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat

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Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Men of all ages participated in the retreat.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Men from three area churches, Calvary Missionary Baptist, United Missionary Baptist, and Shiloh Baptist participated in a two day retreat, and conference. The event was held on Friday and Saturday, October 5th and 6th, at the Holiday Inn French Quarter, 10630 Fremont Pike, in Perrysburg, Ohio.

With the theme, “Men standing up for Christ,” which was taken from Matthew 5: 13-16 of the Bible, attendees participated in interactive discussions on topics such as, “Let your light shine,” and “Make your calling and election sure.” Further, group prayer was held both days, there was entertainment by Darryl Earl, a comedian out of Detroit, Michigan, and Rev. Dr. Jerry Boose of Second Baptist Church, delivered the keynote address.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Darryl Earl, comedian from Detroit, Michigan, kept the men laughing with jokes about church life

Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, told The Toledo Journal the amount of men participating for the 2018 retreat had doubled from last year.

“This is an opportunity for men to come together to fellowship, and see how we can implement into the community, what we learn these two days.”

Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist Church shared, “This is our second year, as a church, participating in the retreat. The men were really excited about attending.”

Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church added that, the young men, who participated in the retreat, gave tear jerking testimonies on how they need Christ in their life.

Men of God standing up for Christ at third annual retreat | The Toledo Journal
Committee members for the retreat are, from left, Rev. Troy Brown of United Missionary Baptist church, Deacon Troy Ogle of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Deacon Willie Tucker of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, and Rev. Avearn Ford of Shiloh Baptist Church.

When it came time for Rev. Boose to deliver the keynote address, he told the men that he wanted to give them information that not only tied into the retreat, but could be utilized once they returned to their individual church, and surrounding community.

He asked them, “Do you know who you are? What’s your purpose with Christ? If you understand your purpose, you’ll get in the right position to cause change.”

Rev. Boose continued, “Religion is only mentioned twice in the Bible, but the word kingdom is throughout the book. God rules Heaven. We rule ourselves; the kingdom. And if you notice, kings are never in need within their kingdom. They’ve been given authority in the land, and we, as men, need to recognize we’re kings of our land, granted that authority, by God. When we truly believe we’ve been given that authority, our lives will begin to change for the better.”

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags filled with school supplies

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Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal
Passing out the supplies were front to back, Shirley Taylor, Frances Ester, and Bonnie Ogle.

By Journal Staff Writer

Extending the message of Christ beyond the church walls, was the motivating factor of Calvary Baptist Church, 702 Collingwood Blvd, for hosting their second book bag, and school supply give-a-way. Held on Saturday, August 11, the event featured more than school supply give-a-way.

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal

Free food, and clothes, as well as games, and horse rides, rounded off the day’s events.

Willie Tucker, chairman of the Deacon Board, told The Toledo Journal that the members of the church wanted to bless the kids who lived in the area of Jones leadership Academy, Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls and Martin Luther King Academy for Boys, by giving away supplies to help with their education.

Last year, the church gave away 150 book bags, and supplies, and Deacon Tucker said they would like to continue to increase that number.

“Jesus asked us to witness to others, and that’s what we’re trying to do,” he said.

Calvary Baptist Church gives away 200 book bags | The Toledo Journal
Children were able to ride horses at the event. Oscar Temple gets his grandchildren, Amir and Amira Burks off the horse, while grandmother, Sandra Temple takes pictures.

“Many of the kids, who received the supplies, don’t attend Calvary Baptist Church, which is fine with us,” said Deacon Troy Ogle. “So, under the leadership of Floyd Smith Jr., pastor, what we want to do is bridge a gap between the community, and our church,” he said.

“This event is very beneficial,” said Wardell Adams, who brought five of his children to the event. “Events like this are really good for those parents who have more than one child,” he said.

Co-sponsoring the event was businessman, and member of Calvary Baptist Church, Bryan Williams Jr.

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.