FROM STAFF REPORTS
More than 500 residents dined on baked chicken, rice, string beans, sweet potatoes, macaroni salad and chocolate frosting cake at the kickoff of Daytona Beach’s Juneteenth Celebration banquet at Daytona Beach’s Midtown Cultural and Educational Center on June 13 where 20 Hometown Heroes were recognized.
Thousands also turned out for a festival last Saturday at Cypress Street Park where dozens of vendors provided information about their organizations and others sold all kinds of food to the masses.
The Hometown Heroes recognized at the banquet included Lillie Bell Beckton, Duane Fernandez, Charlie Lydecker, Launa Taylor, Dr. Alma Dixon, Korynne Lamitriz Burgess-Turner, Charles Bethune, Suzanne Grubbs, Isabel Berber, Maureen Taylor, Ronnie Williams, Chris Daun, Perman Shepard, Joanne Foster, Ivette Delgado, Tim Huth, Rafael Ramirez, Dixie Morgese, Christine Davis and Cheryl Coxwell.
Judge Hubert L. Grimes and Donna Tucker, assistant principal at Creekside Middle School, presided over the event.
The program kicked off with Katherine Moore singing the national anthem.
Representatives from several faiths offered up a prayer, including Kamal Frikach, Islamic Center of Daytona Beach; Rabbi S. David Kane, Congregation B’Nai Torah; Father Philip Egitto, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church; Royce Adkins, president of the American Indian Association of Florida, Inc.; and Pastor John Thomas Long III, Tubman-King Community Church of Daytona Beach.
The audience was serenaded by Liz Owens.
Proclamations were presented by Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry and Volusia County Councilwoman Joyce Cusack.
Remarks and recognitions
As the patrons dined, entertainment was provided by the Hispanic American Youth Group of Deltona, Markilo Allen and Ima Jackson.
The moment all had been waiting for was the introduction of the Hometown Heroes with help from Mayor Henry and Daytona Commissioners Carl Lentz, Paula Reed and Patrick Henry.
A $1,000 scholarship was presented to Brandon Thompson.
Closing remarks and other recognitions were given by Percy L. Williamson, Daytona Beach’s Leisure Services director, and Linda McGee, Juneteenth Committee chair, and an employee in Leisure Services.
Also recognized during the banquet were members of the Juneteenth Celebration Committee, including co-chairpersons Julio Holness and Charles Bryant.