By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer
The 23 Honorees of the 19th Annual Silent Soldiers Banquet are unfamiliar to most people. Their names aren’t the usual ones that appear in media outlets, or on social media sites. But their works impact the entire society, and effect people for years, were the words and spirit conveyed by the organizers of the Silent Soldiers Banquet, held on Sunday, March 1, at the Premier Banquet Complex, 4480 Heatherdowns Blvd.
Rev. Dr. Cedric Brock, pastor at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, and founder of the Silent Soldier Banquet, explained to The Toledo Journal how the honorees were selected.
Honorees are chosen by people in the community, family, friends, co-workers, and church members. Those who are nominated do things such as mentor students, give new businesses an outlet to sell their goods, or voluntarily keep churches clean, and comfortable for people to worship. Many of the nominees don’t know who nominated them.
“We want to give them, these hard workers, their flowers now, while they’re still alive,” Dr. Brock said.
Donnetta Carter was one of the 23 nominees. One of the many things she does within the community to better the lives of others is providing a venue for new businesses to sell their goods, or services.
“When I received a letter in the mail saying I was going to be recognized as a Silent Soldier, I was like, ‘Wow; why me’,” she said. This recognition makes me want to push harder, at something I’m already driven to accomplish,” Ms. Carter said.
Rev. Sheree Madison-Emery received a phone call saying she’d be honored at the banquet. “I was like, ‘Wow; but thank God I can be a blessing to others,’” she said. Rev. Madison-Emery volunteers at her church, serves as the Chaplin for her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Inc., serves on the school board at Summit Academy, and is a University of Toledo counselor.
The other honorees were Bridgette Byrd, Deacon Alan Crawford, Mother Helen Diggins, Kelly Ewing-Sims, Rev. Avearn Ford, Deborah Gardner, Pastor Roscoe Gilmore, Elsie Harbour, Dr. Mary Hawkins-Mitchell, Betty Houston, Gesiele Hunter, Mother Bessie Luckett, Ethel McCollum, Debra Middleton, Apostle Thomas Mitchell, Barbara Rome, Bishop Christopher Rowell, Michelle Tarrant, Phyllis Wallace, Mother Amanda West, and Elder Kenneth Witherspoon.