Women will celebrate their Links to past achievements

The Links Inc. was founded by a group of black women in 1946, during a time when blacks weren't allowed in many social places, said Ann Johnson.


"They pulled together and not only satisfied their social needs, they also volunteered in their community to embrace and empower those who were less fortunate," the president of the Augusta Chapter of The Links Inc. said.

The Augusta chapter was created with the same purpose and goals in mind, and on Nov. 16 it will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

"I cannot really celebrate unless I think about the founders and the past Links who have worked so hard before us to ensure that all our needs will be met, that we will have fun and give back to the community," Ms. Johnson said.

They will do just that during their anniversary event, said Ann Allen, co-chairwoman of the event.

"We are celebrating 50 years of service to the community and sisterhood," she said. "We will note the accomplishments we have made in the past 50 years during the gala."

The event will also focus on where the chapter is heading, said Nancy Barnes, another co-chairwoman.

"We will also recognize the initiatives that we have met and our outlook for the future," she said. "It's going to be a wonderful event."

The guest speaker will be Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, national president of The Links Inc.

The Augusta chapter undertook two major initiatives to commemorate its 50th anniversary: establishing an endowed scholarship at Paine College and providing a home to a homeless family.

"For years, we have provided an annual scholarship of $1,500 to a Paine student," Ms. Johnson said. "This year, in celebration of the 50th (anniversary), we have established an endowed scholarship worth $10,000. We presented the college with the first installment at Dr. (Shirley A.R.) Lewis's gala."

The initiative is in line with the organization's drive to establish an endowed scholarship at all historically black colleges and universities in the South, she added, estimating that that includes 37 schools.

The chapter is close to accomplishing its second initiative as well.

"My pride and joy was that we decided to purchase a home, renovate it and give it to a homeless family. We've been able to do that through partnerships with many community members," Ms. Johnson said. "It's been a blessing. We're hoping from this we'll inspire other organizations to do the same."

They are putting the final touches in the home and are in the screening process for the families. They plan to award the home to a family within the next few weeks.

For more information about The Links Inc., go to www.linksinc.org.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.


WHAT: Augusta Chapter of The Links Inc. 50th Anniversary Celebration
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16
WHERE: Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites, 2 Tenth St.
COST: $50 donation; tickets must be purchased by Monday
INFORMATION: To purchase a ticket, call Tujuana Bush at (706) 860-2191



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