Many were honored at the 39th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Fund Banquet held April 5 by the Augusta Branch of the NAACP.
Sheriff Richard Roundtree, Probate Judge Harry James III and Solicitor General Kellie Keener-McIntyre received Drum Major For Justice awards for winning elected office, the first blacks in those roles in Augusta history.
Perry Broadcasting received the Community Service Sponsorship Award. Augusta Branch Life Membership Awards were presented to the Augusta Baptist Ministers Conference; Dr. Elicia B. Elam; Missouri Banks-Harris; Betty L. Frazier and Junior Life Member Lauren Johnson.
Braylen Ahmad Smith, a first-grader at Blue Ridge Elementary School in Martinez, won the Man On A Mission Award for his academic and athletic success.
Branch President Dr. Charles Smith presented the President’s Award to Lizzie Wilhite; Deacon Johnnie Ball, Jr., Shirlene Ball; Clara Calloway; Inger Carter; Beulah Teachey and Queenie Lawton, for dedicated and valued service to the Augusta Branch of the NAACP.
The branch is ranked the No. 1 compliance membership unit in Georgia with 493 members and earned numerous accolades and awards at the state, regional and national level to include 20 national NAACP Million Dollar Club Awards; Ruby Hurley Award; W.W. Law Education Award for Lawsuits; Robert Flannagan Award; Earl T. Shinholster Award; J.L. Barnes Award; Georgia State Conference NAACP Richard Harris Political Action Leadership Award; Southeast Region Programmatic Activities and the Southeast Region Political Action Award. During the 2012 Georgia State Conference NAACP State Convention, the Augusta Branch won first place among all Georgia units in the membership laydown.
Smith is a two-time recipient of the Southeast Region Medgar Evers Leadership Award.