05/26/06 — Dillard Alumni crowns 2006 queen, scholars

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Dillard Alumni crowns 2006 queen, scholars

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 26, 2006 1:50 PM

Liz Williams of Atlanta said she wanted to do more than hand out scholarship money to a student Thursday night during the Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni scholarship awards program.

So when she called Tammy Moody to the stage, she immediately handed her a business card and extracted a promise that Ms. Moody would send her an address in the near future.

Mrs. Williams and her husband established a $1,500 scholarship for a student already enrolled in college who could use more financial support. Miss Moody, a 2005 graduate of Goldsboro High School, seemed to fit the bill.

Miss Moody teared up on stage as Mrs. Williams shared how the teen had completed high school "against all odds," missing classes most of the year due to illness. Today, she is a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

"I'm going to set up an account of funds and every month until you graduate, will give you $200," Mrs. Williams said. "All I ask of you is to give back (to others) when you can."

Fred Shadding, representing Dillard Class of 1957, also illustrated the importance of giving. His group committed to awarding $500 a year for four years to a college student. But Shadding said that beyond the monetary amount was the element of mentoring.

The group has followed the progress of Trevor Handberry, who juggled his studies and worked a job to support his family while a student at Goldsboro High School. Then, and now, his mother continues her battle against cancer.

Handberry is now a rising junior at Winston-Salem State University.

"Every year, you help me out, and every year I need every penny. Thanks a lot, and thanks for your prayers, and for my mom," he said, motioning for his mother to stand.

Thelma Smith, national scholarship chairman for the association, charged the audience to "continue to support these young people because they're working hard and we want them to know that we support them."

With funds still being collected, Mrs. Smith said that nearly $60,000 was distributed among 55 students Thursday night.

"You help students embark on a different future," Patricia Burden, principal at Goldsboro High, told those in the audience. "I assure you that your money is well spent and most valued by those recipients of those scholarships."

The awards program has grown by leaps and bounds. As individuals, alumni and groups have heard donors share their stories, others have been inspired to add to the program, organizers said.

Nearly $52,000 in scholarship funds were given to last year's graduating class. By this year, $362,712 had been awarded to students furthering their education.

The evening was part of a kick-off for the 51st annual Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends Inc. homecoming, with activities planned all weekend. This year's theme is "Answering the Call, Ensuring the Future of Our Children Through Giving."

Also on the program, Carver Heights Elementary School chorus provided musical entertainment. Among their selections were a medley from "West Side Story" and a three-part harmony prayer.

Classes from 1946 to the present were recognized, as were alumni chapters from Washington, D.C., Philadel-phia, New Jersey and New York.

A corrections officer from Goldsboro was named "Miss Dillard Alumni 2006." Brenda Braswell Brewington, 1969 graduate of Dillard High, sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" after being presented with roses, a crown and a sash.

To earn the honor, she raised more than $9,000 for the scholarship fund.

"To me, my passion is children," she said. The honor "means continuous education for our children because it takes a village to raise a child...It's up to us and the next generation to keep this torch going; this is a torch of education."

First runner-up was Kimberly Shearod Corsey, representing the Washington, D.C. chapter. She raised $5,000 for the scholarship program.

Other events during the homecoming weekend include a golf tournament, scholarship contributors banquet today at 5 p.m. at the Alumni Cultural Center, and a dance at 9:30 p.m. at H.V. Brown Hall.

Saturday's events start with a a parade downtown at 10 a.m., followed by picnics, reunion banquets and dances, including a junior-senior program for the Class of 1966.

Festivities wrap up with a worship service Sunday at 11 a.m. at H.V. Brown Hall, class picnics, entertainment and a 10 p.m. dance at H.V. Brown Hall.