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NAACP banquet focuses on census count

Published 9:02am Thursday, March 25, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

A time-honored event is focusing on a time-honored civic duty this year.

The Niles Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced this year’s Annual Freedom Fund Banquet would focus on the theme of the importance of the 2010 census.

“Yes, We Count! Yes, We Can! Yes, We Did! Yes, We Will!” is the theme for this year’s event, which is also celebrating the organization’s 68th anniversary serving area communities.*
The annual dinner is held as “an awareness,” the chapter’s vice president Georgia Boggs said Wednesday. “And to help support the needs of the NAACP.”

The banquet is being held Saturday, April 10 at The Bell Building on Fourth Street and features guest speaker Alfred Holliday of Benton Harbor, described as an “educator, consultant, orator and entrepreneur.”

According to a brief biography provided, Holliday, originally born in Sumter, S.C., worked as a teacher for the Benton Harbor School District for 30 years.

He holds a masters degree in Instructional Development and Technology from Michigan State University and has worked as a staff development consultant, principal and continued his work as a guest administrator following his retirement.

Holliday, Boggs said, “came up the left side of the mountain,” losing both of his parents at a very young age.

“He had the opportunity to go a lot of ways but he chose to do things that would not only benefit him but the entire community,” she said.

The focus of the banquet will be to push census awareness, Boggs added.

“The real big issue is our census count,” she said. ‘The need is your need to be counted. We need highways, we need schools, we need all kinds of things that we should be aware of.”

She added she felt many people were unaware of the impact a census can have on a community.

The event takes about three months worth of planning and is open to the public.
Boggs said she hopes people will take a valuable lesson from the event.

“I hope they go away saying ‘I can do something for the community,’” she said.
The event starts with hospitality at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet starts at 6 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children under the age of 12.

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