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2018 Ebony and Ivory Affair honored Gadsden professional athletes

The Gadsden County Democratic Women’s Club held an Ebony & Ivory event awarding some of the professional athletes from our county at the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Conference Center last Friday night.

I was honored to be a part of the program that acknowledged the achievements of a number of county athletes that excelled at the professional level after high school and college fame.

The formal event started with a welcoming ceremony by Ms. Vicki Muse Johnson that featured an occasion speech by the Rev. Earnestine Barkley Sellers and a invocation by Minister Linda Clemons.

Entertainment by the Snapp Band was enjoyed during dinner. After dinner Mrs. Angela Sapp, mayor of the City of Quincy commentated the life of the late Ms. Louvenia Ellis Sailor, who was past County Women’s Democratic Club President from 2012-2017.

Medallion Awards were then presented to Roger Bailey (baseball), Chariya Davis, Ricky Davis, and Billy Ray Hobley (posthumous) for basketball; De’cody Fagg, Mack Lee Hill (posthumous), and Rudy Thomas (posthumous) for football; and Ben Bates and Ben Duncan (golf).

Ebony and Ivory Awards were then presented to Rosa Hudgins, Al Lawson, Jr., and Andrew Moten (basketball); Shinny Burns (boxing); and Woody Campbell, Curtis Green, Sr., Alex Jackson, Dexter Jackson, Willie R. Simmons, Leroy Smith, Ricky Smith and Rodell Thomas (football) Quincy Recreation Director Greg Taylor and I had the pleasure of presenting the Medallion Awards.

Coach Vernell Ross, Dr. Robert Peoples, and coaches Ericka Cromartie and Chelsea Johnson presented the Ebony & Ivory Awards. Attorney Marva Davis Jones closed the dignified ceremony with remarks. Every recipient that was present gave heartfelt thank you speeches.

I happen to personally know and have had contact with eighteen of the twenty-one honored athletes. From my stand point I felt everyone deserved the recognition and I as well as their friends and family appreciate the work and effort the Democratic Women’s Club went through to present the program.

I’ll close this column by giving what was the personal highlight of the night for me. That was meeting Woody Campbell. For those not familiar with Woody’s history, he was a graduate of Carter-Parramore who earned a scholarship to Northwestern where he received All-American honors as a running back.

He was drafted by the Houston Oilers and was an AFL All-Star in 1967. Woody was one of only seven professional athletes to serve on active duty in Vietnam.

He has finished a book, I.O.U., the less-than-flattering truth of how America has mistreated Vietnam veterans and veterans in general.

A very successful middle and executive level business manager, Woody, like everyone of the other recipients at the function shows why they are successful.

They let starring on the field, court, links, or ring carry onto their personal and professional lives where they give back, and continue to be outstanding people.

By Joe Ferolito