Spotlight on The Urban League Gala Part 2

| December 22, 2013
DiQuaysha Martin, Admiria Cooper, Mariesha Carter and Kierra Curry were winners of Urban League Guild $500 unrestricted scholarships. See more photos from the event at (Photo: Mel Johnson)

DiQuaysha Martin, Admiria Cooper, Mariesha Carter and Kierra Curry were winners of Urban League Guild $500 unrestricted scholarships. See more photos from the event at
the Frost Facebook page. (Photo: Mel Johnson)


Part two of two 

Whatz up, babies?

To continue with your Christmas present, from part one of the Gala Extravaganza Spotlight from last week, we bring to you part two. However, at this particular time, I’m going to recap what was shared with you so you don’t have to waste your time guessing. We shared important information from our Fort Wayne Urban League’s President/CEO Jonathan C. Ray, M.S.W. and Board Chairman Leroy Jackson. They are working hard for us because some parts of our community are living in an unsafe and unhealthy environment. They shared, some of the great responsibilities in Fort Wayne that they have because our children are counting on them. They also addressed what matters to local people–good health, education, jobs and etc., you found out how the Urban League’s Lions are chosen and that this years Lions are Dr. Alan McGee, Pat Miller, Judge Stephen Sims and George Smith.

After that, Fort Wayne’s Urban League Guild President Regenia Frison-Jones shared, some wonderful things that we needed to know, as well as, the responsibilities that the Guild has to the Urban League, how the youth are chosen to receive a $500 unrestricted scholarships and this year’s awardees were DiQuaysha Martin, Admiria Cooper, Mariesha Carter and Kierra Curry. Frison-Jones also shared that she has a passion for youth and if you believe in them and pour into them, they will not let you down.

On that note, we bring to you more beauty as we kick off part two of the Fort Wayne Urban League Gala Extravaganza 2013, with two out of the four scholarship recipients with whom I was able to communicate and this is what they had to say:

“Hi, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Admiria Cooper and even though I wasn’t there to accept my award, my mother was there on my behalf. I felt so very blessed to be a recipient of this scholarship because I’ve worked very hard. I’m attending Howard University and majoring in Broadcast Journalism and what I’d like to say to inspire other youth is, make sure that you do your work, appreciate all of the opportunities that are around you and take advantage of them, thank GOD for your blessings everyday and the rest will come.” 

“Hi, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Kierra Curry and being one of the recipients of this $500 unrestricted scholarship from the Urban League made me feel ecstatic and it felt wonderful that I was chosen for this award. And, it felt wonderful to know that I’m doing something in the community that’s being looked at and having someone to take the time to recognize me and my accomplishments, feels wonderful. I attend Indiana Tech and I’m majoring in Business Management because I plan to own my own business one day.”

Great job, recipients! Now we’re going to bring you even more enjoyment as Regenia, the Guild president, comes back to you with some rewarding information pertaining to how two scholarships were granted by a beautiful hearted person and this is what she has to say:

“Hello again, Frost Illustrated readers. I’d like for you to know about Bill Blanks and what he stood for but first, I want to share with you about his wife Sue Puff. Sue Puff has been a board member of the Urban League for many, many years. I also knew her from Whitington Homes and Services from probably 15 years ago and she did consulting work for them and she also did a lot of contractual work for her husband. Bill did a lot of good work in the community and I believe he passed away just last year. So when we decided to do the scholarships, I went to Sue and shared with her what the Guild was doing for the youth and she said, ‘I’ll send you a check, this is what Bill would have wanted me to do.’ I didn’t have to go into full details because she believed in the cause. The check was for $1,000 and was given to two scholarship recipients in Bill’s memory. She stated, Bill was all about giving and self-empowerment and that, he did a lot of good things for the community not only with youth but with adults as well. And, everybody that knew Bill loved him.”

Here is the statement Ms. Puff made on behalf of her husband:

“In loving memory of my husband Bill Blanks: Bill Blanks was called so many things to so many people. A hero, a mentor, a humanitarian, an oasis, professional colleague, ‘Pa,’ kind and gentle. Bill was a member of Fort Wayne Street United Methodist Church A.T.S.A. (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers), NASW (National Association of Social Workers) and was a diplomat in the American Psychological Association. Bill recently had received his Chaplain Certification and held both a Master’s Degree in Divinity and in Sociology. He was the former chair of the social work department of the University of St. Francis and taught there for years. Bill and I owned Phoenix Associates until gifting it prior to his death. Bill enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating, reading, playing harmonica’s, dominoes, pool and cooking. More than anything though, Bill was a lifeguard to his family, friends and those he mentored.” 

Regenia needs for you to know this also:

“The Fort Wayne Urban League and its Guild are hoping that others in our community will be willing to follow Bill and his wife Sue’s lead in giving unrestricted scholarships to assist with the cost of living expenses for students. Speaking personally and as the Guild president, I’m very passionate about youth because I’m a firm believer that our youth are our future. Get involved—it can change a life. You may not think that, what you’re doing will have an impact of a life but it can tremendously. And, try to lead by example, that’s important to them because our children are definitely watching us. 

“I also want Fort Wayne to know that every year the National Urban League have a big conference for Urban Leagues all over the U.S., and last year, as well as, this year the Fort Wayne Urban League came in first place for our fundraising efforts out of 42 financial Guilds. Generally, we do a lot of volunteer work for the Fort Wayne Urban League youth programs and anything that the Urban League is doing because the Guild is the arm to help with the volunteer work for the League. If you’d like to become a member of the Guild, contact the Fort Wayne Urban League at (260) 745-3100 for more information and membership fees are only $45 per year. For those of you, that may not have enough time to volunteer but would like to contribute to the cause, that’s good too.”

Isn’t this some great knowledge? Of course it is! I’m loving it and I hope you’re loving it too. So now, I’ve taken the opportunity to talk with some of the people that were also in attendance at the Gala, so they can share their feelings on all of this beauty and all the happiness this night brought to them:

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Debra K. Brown and Kierra Curry is my granddaughter. I’ve been working with her through the Urban League’s S.A.V.E. program and she’s encouraged a lot of students through the NAACP while working with her mom, me and her auntie. We’re in the community and we’re not just talking about lives, we’re trying to save them. Knowing that I have four grandchildren, that graduated this year, makes me feel honored in this day and age because I still have them and they can go to college too. I’m very proud of Kierra, she’s very involved in the community and I’m looking forward to seeing her prosper in the future. And, if anyone is interested in learning what the S.A.V.E. program is about please call the Urban League for information.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Juanita McGraw and the event was very nice I enjoyed myself and I would like to come every year because I learn something new and everybody was looking so nice.”

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Ronnie Lindsey and I think tonight’s event was great and I think it’s great that the community is coming together collectively, to address, the issue of youth and gang violence. The Fort Wayne Urban League appears to be coming up with good sound solutions as to who the kids are, as far as, the percentage of kids that don’t graduate high school. So I think, what they’re doing is great and things are headed in the right direction to get a handle on this problem. I also think the other important factor is, parents have to play an active role in their children’s lives as to what they’re doing, who they’re hanging out with and things like that. Even though, there’s no guarantee that it will prevent the kid from going wrong, but it lessens the chance if the parents are active, involved and trying to steer that kid in a positive direction.” 

Now in closing I say, great job, everybody and hugs out to each and every last one of you! And, to our Fort Wayne Urban League President/CEO Jonathan Ray, I want you to know, feel and understand that I’m so proud of you for standing for righteousness and I know that the people are proud of you as well. Because under your leadership, you’re bringing the Urban League to it’s highest height and through that, the people shall know, feel and understand the beauty in which you bring to the table for them and their loved ones. I also say, thank you for giving us all hope of a brighter tomorrow, in the name of love. So until next week, you’ve been up close with Jeanie. Bye, bye, babies.

P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to I’d love to hear from ya.

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