Members of the Goldsboro Chapter Continental Societies Inc. commemorated 55 years of service to children and youth in Goldsboro and surrounding counties at a luncheon recently held at the Holy Ghost Drawing Center-Community Crisis Center.

The theme for the historic occasion was "Honoring our Sisterhood, Community Servants and Supporters."

The chapter was organized in February 1961 by the late Gertrude A. Cox who was also the first president.

The organization's service journey has been a historic and phenomenal one, members said.

It continues to be a true testament to the membership's desire to enhance the quality of life for children and youth and has done so faithfully for thousands of young people the past 55 years, said Comatha B. Johnson, anniversary chairperson and mistress of ceremony.

She and President Dionne Johnson gave the welcome and occasion.

State Sen. Don Davis delivered the invocation and City Councilman Mark Stevens expressed greetings on behalf of the city of Goldsboro and saluted the chapter for its many years of service to the community.

Historical reflections were given by Rochelle Hobbs and musical selections were rendered by the Goldsboro High School Stars.

Tributes to the sisterhood were presented by National President Edna Lee Moffitt.

The recipients were Minnie Carney, 55 years of service, recognized for a lifetime of service; Vernal Best, 53 years of service, who was inducted into the local Hall of Fame; and Comatha B. Johnson, 40 years of service, who received Special Service Recognition for honors from various organizations for dedicated community service and as the 2016 Lillian Parks Thomas Award winner -- the national organization's highest award.

Comments were given by the first Continental King, Rashad Hinnant, and 2008 King Joseph Vaughn who expressed gratitude for how the organization benefitted them.

Jean Roach, Mid-Atlantic Regional director of Community Servants and Supporters, gave a salute to the program.

The Community Servants Award recipients represented the organization's five-point thrust with each having served the community many years.

They were: Adeen George, health; Yvonne "Kitty" Goodman, education; Shirley Edwards, employment; Dr. Gladys McClary, recreation; and Tony Edmondson, arts and humanities.

Pauline Grady and Cortrina Smith were recognized for their years of consistent financial and personal support to the chapter.

President Edna Lee Moffitt presented a monetary gift to the Goldsboro High School Stars choral group.

The reigning King Izaiah Taylor and Queen London Artis were on parade.

County Commissioner Chairman Joe Daugherty submitted a resolution of congratulations for the chapter's accomplishments, and Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen submitted a proclamation declaring Goldsboro Chapter CSI Day.

Visiting Continentals attended from the Baltimore, Maryland, New Bern Newport News-Hampton, VA, Washington, D.C., and the Wilmington chapters.