05/27/05 — Alumni crown new queen, give away 36 scholarships

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Alumni crown new queen, give away 36 scholarships

By Renee Carey
Published in News on May 27, 2005 1:45 PM

For Dillard-Goldsboro High School 2005 Alumni Queen Kari Shayna' Raynor, winning the title is about more than the flowers, the crown and the traditional walk through the auditorium.

It is all about giving back.

The alumni queen/king title is presented each year as part of the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends Inc. reunion weekend. The representative from the chapter that raises the most money for the group's scholarship fund is crowned "queen" or "king" and reigns throughout the weekend and the next year.

This weekend, hundreds of graduates are in town to mark the group's 50th reunion. Thursday night, after the group's annual scholarship program, the alumni crowned their queen.

Although Miss Raynor is not a graduate of Dillard or Goldsboro High herself, she has been a part of the alumni group's Washington, D.C., chapter since she was a baby. Well, before, really, too, she said.

"My mom used to come to the meetings when she was pregnant with me," she said.

Her father, the late Waverly Washington Raynor Jr., and her mother, Janice Scott Raynor, are both Dillard High School graduates.

Miss Raynor is herself a graduate of Landover High School in Landover, Md. She is currently attending the University of Washington, D.C., majoring in business management.

She has also just completed an automotive specialist program.

"I love cars and motorcycles," she said.

She said she does not know for sure what she will end up doing for a career.

"I have so many ideas and possibilities," she said.

But she knows that she would not be where she is without the support of those who have come before her.

"I couldn't help but give back," she said.

She credits her chapter, in part, with her victory. Miss Raynor and the D.C. alumni raised more than $10,000 to claim the 2005 title.

She said the reunion is important because it not only allows alumni to reminisce and "to feel young again," but also to thank those who helped them as they pursued their own lives and careers.

She cautions new graduates and others never to forget.

"Never forget those who gave to you," she said. "It is never too late to give back to those who have touched your life."

For 2004 queen Shonda Smith, remembering and caring for those who have mattered in her life has manifested itself in more than simply holding the Miss Dillard-Goldsboro Alumni honor.

She is caring for her grandparents as she pursues a career in modeling.

The 35-year-old has been a part of the Dillard-Goldsboro alumni family since she was a child. Her aunts and uncle, Ken and Carolyn Flowers and Doris Mickens made sure of that. Her uncle is the president of the group's Philadelphia chapter.

"Growing up, my family is from Goldsboro, so I spent a lot of time here," she said. "It is like my second home."

She was one of the contestants for this year's contest as well. Her chapter raised more than $7,000 for the scholarship program.

She said serving as the 2004 queen was an honor and worth the hard work it took to be one of the top fund-raisers.

"It is for our future generations," Miss Smith said. "They are what matter."

A part of the Dillard-Goldsboro reunions since she was a child, she said she wouldn't miss the event now that she is an adult.

"It is like a family reunion," she said. "If I ever have children, it will be nice to know that I can bring them here and they will be surrounded by family."

In addition to Miss Smith and Miss Raynor, Goldsboro chapter representative Keshia Smith was also one of the contestants for the 2005 crown.

A 1988 graduate of Goldsboro High School, Keshia Smith is a legacy. She is the daughter of Jeffrey Manuel and Brenda Smith, both Goldsboro graduates. She is the granddaughter of William and Madie Warren Smith and Hilda Wooten Manuel and the late Moss Manuel.

A teacher, Miss Smith earned her degree from North Carolina Central University in 1993.

She is the mother of a son, Keon, and the two live in Garner.

To earn the runner-up crown, Miss Smith's chapter earned more than $8,000 in contributions for the scholarship program.

In addition to the new honorees, more than 30 former queens and kings attended Thursday's ceremony and were honored before the crowning.

Among them was the mistress of ceremonies for the scholarship presentations, Thelma Faison Smith, who served as Miss Dillard-Goldsboro Alumni in 1982.

She said the Dillard/Goldsboro reunion is special, and the more than $55,000 raised this year for the scholarship fund shows just how committed the alumni are to each other and the future generations who will graduate from Goldsboro High School.

"Every year, it gets more and more exciting," she said. "It just shows the spirit of Dillard."

She said the Class of 2005 will not have to look far for support for their dreams, either.

"They can do and be anything," she said. "They have plenty of role models right here in this auditorium and in this organization. If they are looking for leadership and guidance, all they have to do is reach out."

And she cautions new and former graduates to remember the spirit that will be celebrated this weekend.

"Don't ever forget where you came from," she said.