By SHERRY DIGMON
The 13th Annual Rosa Parks Breakfast held true to its purpose – honoring the legacy of Rosa Parks and individuals who continue to contribute and make a difference today.
The two honored at the Saturday morning breakfast were Jethro Dailey and the late Letha Walker. Dr. Ullyssess McBride presented the awards.
Mr. Dailey, a World War II veteran, received the Rosa Parks Award.
Mrs. Walker was notified that she was receiving the Citizenship Award but passed away before the service. Joaquniae McPherson Franklin accepted on her behalf.
The guest speaker was Bea Forniss, who is no stranger to Atmore.
“All this is just fluff,” she said, waving her hands in the air. “Only what you do for Christ will last.”
Forniss talked about the journey that is not complete and the dream that is just a dream when there’s no work with it.
“We have not overcome,” she said. “We have to keep the dream alive … We remember Rosa Parks because she sat in her seat … The journey has taken us where it’s supposed to take us, but we’re still sitting on the bus.”
Forniss said our differences are not a black thing, not a white thing, but we haven’t figured out how to get along, how to work together, how to pray together.
She also stressed the importance of education.
“If we don’t educate our kids, we’re doing a disservice to mankind,” she said. “If we can build prisons, we can build schools.”
Organizer Lillie Johnson had to do make some last-minute changes to the program. The Rev. Danny Benjamin was to be the master of ceremonies, however, he was sick with the flu, as was Cheryl Jones who was to give the Occasion.
Josephine Norman served as mistress of ceremonies and Bridgette Golden stepped up to present the Occasion.
Others participating in the program were Herbert E. “Mannie” Pair III, music; Pastor Michael Arnold, invocation; Kimberly Byrd, Ed.S, Welcome; Pastor W.J. Hawthorne, music; Pastor Jerol Preyer, poem; the Rev. Alphonzia Williams, blessing of the food; Willie J. Grissett, introduction of elected officials; Dr. Zickeyous Byrd, introduction of speaker; Mayor Jim Staff, city updates; Shelia Johnson-Williams and Teresa Dees, presentation of prizes.
Officials attending were Tax Collector Tim Pettis, County Commissioner Karean Reynolds, Judge Eric Coale, Judge Dave Jordan, Sheriff Heath Jackson, Mayor Jim Staff, School Superintendent John Knott, Judge Bert Rice, Board of Education Chairman W.J. Grissett, Dr. Zickeyous Byrd, former Mayor Howard Shell accompanied by Nannette Shell.
The Rosa Parks Breakfast is always a good program, a chance to visit with friends – and an outstanding breakfast. Members of the kitchen crew were Shelia Johnson-Williams, Doris Knight, Vonda Bynum, Beverly Rodgers, Toshia McCants, and Janice Reynolds. Hostesses were Kenia Lowe, Tonyeneka Gaskins, Tonita McBride, and Carly Knight.