DURHAM, NC – The Ebonettes Service Club, Inc. of Durham, with the theme “Changing Lives through Action and Compassion,” celebrated its 44th Founders Day on Saturday, March 19th Durham Hilton Hotel. Thirteen civic and community individuals “who dare to make a difference” in the community were honored during the program for their committed volunteer outreach efforts in four categories Education, Service to Youth, Service to Senior Citizens and Service in Community Action. Guests were entertained musically by youth violinist Gianni Lacey Howard and soloist Artillius Breakfield.
The 2016 “Dare to Make a Difference” Honorees include Dr. Tonya Armstrong (Service to Community, Mrs. Vivian L. Ford Service to Youth and Community), Ms. Burmadeane George (Service to Youth), Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins (Service to Community and Political Involvement), Dr. Jerry Head, Jr. (Service to Community), Ms. Cassandra Lyons Johnson (Service to Youth), Minister Michelle Laws (Service to Community, Youth and Political Involvement), Pastor Yolanda Morgan (Service to Youth, Seniors and Education), Little Miss Kyla D. Newkirk (Service to Youth, Seniors, Community and Political Involvement), Mrs. Gloria Rentrope ( Service to Youth, Youth, Seniors, Community and Political Involvement), Dr. Randal M. Rogers (Service to Youth, Seniors Education and Political Involvement), David Sellars (Service to Community) and Wendell Tabb (Service to Education, Youth and Seniors).
The Ebonettes Service Club, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 organization, was founded in March 1972 by four African American women who wanted to make a difference in their community. The founders, Judy Byrd Dillard of Durham, Dr. Susanna Gentry-Bell (currently living in Greensboro), Carolyn Jones Thomas of Durham and Marjorie Lester Monroe Thorpe (deceased), founded the organization focusing on four broad objectives. The objectives are to enhance the development of black youth, to become more aware of our cultural heritage, to become politically astute and relate to issues that affect our lives, and to become meaningfully involved with the senior citizens of our community. The club’s motto is “Lend a helping hand today, see a smiling face tomorrow”. Founders Judy B. Dillard and Carolyn J. Thomas are still active members fulfilling many club leadership roles.
Each year the Ebonettes Service Club, Inc. Founders select a service organization that is committed to making a difference in the lives of the citizens in the Durham Community and surrounding areas. The 2016 Founders’ Award was given to the Thomas Mentor Leadership Academy, Inc. that provides mentoring, leadership training, academic and life skills principles to young African American males in Durham and surrounding counties. Founders Judy Byrd Dillard and Carolyn Jones Thomas made the presentation to Executive Director/Founder, Rev. Larry E. Thomas. Joining him were TMLA, Inc. Board Chair, Larry Campbell and 15 young male mentees and other leaders. Rev. Thomas is a 2015 Ebonettes Dare to Make a Difference Honoree.