TUWL Black History Banquet celebrates 25th anniversary

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Troy United Women’s League Black History Banquet will celebrate its 25th anniversary on Feb. 23 at the Trojan Center Ballrooms on the campus of Troy University.  Georgia Congressman John Lewis will be the featured speaker.

Tickets are going, going and almost gone for the Troy United Women’s League 25th Annual Black History Banquet on February 23 at the Trojans Center Ballrooms.

Not only is this a milestone year anniversary, the featured speaker will be Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a Pike County native and one who is held in the highest esteem, said Shelia Deveridge, TUWL past president.

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“Congressman Lewis has been with us several times and we always look forward to having him back,” Deveridge said. “It is a real honor to have him as the guest speaker for our 25th anniversary banquet.”

At each Black History Banquet, the TUWL honors distinguished guests who have made notable contributions to their communities. Because 2013 is a milestone year for the TUWL, this year’s distinguished guests will be the five charter members of the TUWL, Catherine Jordan, Octavia Jones, Blonzell Byrd, Ann McMillian and Deveridge.

Catherine Williams, Jacqueline Patterson and Maxine Hollis realized that an organization of young Christian women would be an asset to the Troy community. The idea met with great enthusiasm and a group of like-minded young women met in May 1988 to discuss the possibility of such an organization. In September 1988, the TUWL officially organized with the purpose of assisting the elderly and presenting positive role models to the youth.

The motto for the newly organized TUWL was ‘United to Make It Happen.’

“For 25 years now we have stayed united and have made things happen in Pike County,” Deveridge said.

She estimated that the TUWL has contributed more than $100,000 back to the community that it serves.

“Each year, the TUWL awards scholarships to the three high schools in the county, Charles Henderson, Goshen and Pike County,” Deveridge said. “The number depends on the funds we have available. Last year, we gave 21 scholarships.”

Deveridge said the TUWL had made donations to the Troy Public Library, Relay for Life, the Heart Walk, the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center, the Johnson Center for the Arts and to a variety of programs at Charles Henderson High School and Troy Elementary School. And, we have helped buy books for college students who aren’t able to purchase them.

“TUWL also assists local churches and gives generously to assist with travel for cancer patients who are having to make trips out of town for treatment,” Deveridge said. “We also assist with the burial of indigents. We like to help when and where we are needed.”

Deveridge said the annual TUWL Black History Banquet funds many of the League’s projects.

“The banquet was organized as a way to participate in the1988 Alabama Reunion,” she said. “The TUWL wanted to participate by doing something special and we decided on the banquet. Congressman John Lewis was our first guest speaker and we are honored to have him back for our 25th Black History Banquet as we dedicate the TUWL to another 25 years of community service.”

Tickets for the TUWL 25th Anniversary Black History Banquet are $25. For ticket availability, call (334) 566-5889, 566-2204 or 566-6623.