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Many VIPs gather to help local UNCF celebrate 25 years

As Sarasota City Commissioner Fredd Atkins said, the local United Negro College Fund celebrated 25 years of “doin’ it right.”

Manatee County Commission chair Gwen Brown shared the podium to give a two-county welcome at Friday night’s silver anniversary scholarship awards dinner. John Colon shared the event chair position with Dr. Gary Kompotheras, or as he is better known, 1-800-ASK-GARY.

Several out-of-town VIP’s attended the dinner held at Michael’s on East. Washington pundit Armstrong Williams was the keynote speaker and UNCF senior vice-president Maurice Jenkins traveled from Atlanta.

Ed Singleton and Cheri Orr were here from Daytona Beach’s Bethune-Cookman University, which is one of the colleges that receives funds from the UNCF.

Of course, most of the guests were local folks. Bill Sedgeman headed up the table from sponsor Community Bank and Dr. Al and Brenda Belsito were seated nearby. Congressman Vern and Sandy Buchanan stopped in during the pre-dinner cocktail time to offer their congratulations.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority table included Bernandine Rice, Barbara Harvey, Ollie Lampkins, Jacqueline Ray, Christine Clark, Johnnie Davis, Shirley Shaw and Cheryl Steele.

And, Jo McRae, Beverly Bryant, Terri Bragg, Cynthia and Erica Standley and Jackie Houston were part of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority group.

Also seen were Dr. Mona and Kailash Jain, Bruce Wertheimer, Kathy and John Hargreaves and attorney David Miner.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations as a volunteer or an employee.