Valiant Women Honoree recipients with CWU LA Unit President: Mrs. Albertine Fontenot Brown, Mrs. Maragaret Collins, CWU LA Unit President Mrs. Katie Webb, Mildred R. Harper and Rev. Lorna Margaret Hart
Hundreds Attend CWU Luncheon and Fashion EventÂ Â Â
By Niele Anderson Sentinel Religion Editor & Cora Jackson-FossettContributing Writer
More than 750 people filled the Grand Ballroom at the Proud Bird Restaurant for the Annual Luncheon and Fashion Extravaganza sponsored by Church Women United, Los Angeles Unit (CWU). The organization's theme for this year is "building a world fit for all God's children".
The gala affair, held October 3, attracted women, men and youth representing churches throughout the Southland. Among the event's highlights were the recognition of four local women with the "Valiant Women 2009 Award" and presentations of $1,000 scholarships to two students. Hundreds of woman packed the room with the organization's theme colors red and gold.
"This is a super turnout and reflects the goal of CWU to bring Christians from all denominations to work together and make a visible difference in our community," Katie Webb, CWU-LA President.
"CWU is moving to higher heights. Our first luncheon had only 187 people and now this year, we had over 700," added Thelma Morris, former local and state president who joined CWU in 1985.
Serving as M.C. was Sentinel Religion Editor Niele Anderson who kept the crowd entertained and uplifted as she moved the program along. Other program participants included Pastor Perris Lester of Lewis Metropolitan C.M.E. Church; Pastor Perry Jones, Messiah Baptist Church; Marguerite Carter, National CWU President; Marie Durflinger, California CWU President, Renee Woodruff, Phillips Temple C.M.E. Church; and Lessie Thompson, A.M.E. Church So. California Conference Missionary President. Also, entertainment was provided by Danette Armstead, Annetta Duarte and John Hale III.
The scholarship recipients were Arynn Auzout of Grant A.M.E. Church and Lacie Pierrie of Messiah Baptist Church. Arynn attends Texas A & M University and Lacie is a student at UC Merced.
The Valiant Women 2009 honorees were community advocates whose actions demonstrated their commitment to helping others, noted President Webb as she and Presidents Carter and Durflinger made the award presentations. All of the recipients were escorted by their husbands of 50 or more years.
"May the work I've done speak for me," said Mrs. Albertine Fontenot Brown as she accepted the award. Brown, a volunteer for CWU's Released Time Christian Education Program, was honored for her love and dedication to serving others, visiting the sick, cooking for the shut-in and running errands for the infirmed. At Metropolitan M.B. Church, she serves as Mission President, Trustee Board Co-Chair, Sunday School teacher and choir member.
Upon receiving her award, Mrs. Margaret Collins said, "I haven't done anything special. I just follow God's lead, walking the walk so people will know I'm Christ-like." Collins is an ordained deacon and active member of Westminister Presbyterian Church. Throughout the congregation and community, she is known for her ministry to the homeless. Also, she serves on CWU's Celebration Committee as well as volunteers at both a literary program and student immunization clinic.
"Whatever we do, we do to the glory of God," said honoree Mildred Harper who added she is guided by her favorite scriptures, Psalm 37:4 and Philippians 4:13. Harper is renown in CWU circles for her tremendous contributions to the International Blanket Drive sponsored by Church World Services. The ministry began in winter of 1989 when she spearheaded a city-wide blanket drive to help the homeless and it continues today. A member of Lincoln Memorial Congregational Church, Harper devotes countless hours to helping youth and the homeless because of her "passion for people."
After receiving her plaque, Pastor Lorna Margaret Hart stated, "The delight of my life is to preach God's Word and teach it." Rev. Hart is pastor of Emmanuel Independent Community Church and serves as the interdenominational representative for the Community Church. A CWU member since 1980, she keeps the unit informed of current events in the religious, political and social arena. Among Rev. Hart's other activities are community /school site coordinator, PTA member, 3rd Vice President for L.A. Council of Churches and Director of Community Church Youth Programs.
Next it was time for the CWU fashion show that included the youth and adults. The crowd responded to there favorite outfits by waving a red napkin in the air as models graced the runway.
Willie Mae Tabb, Lewis Metropolitan C.M.E. Church, served as luncheon chairperson. Committee members were Mary Barnett, First A.M.E. Church; Lennie Draughn, St. John United Methodist Church; Florence Griffith, Community United Presbyterian Church; Adrienne Howard, Grant A.M.E. Church; Elaine Meggs, Bethel A.M.E. Church; Ema Sims, Hays Tabernacle C.M.E. Church; Alynn Wilson, First A.M.E. Zion Church, Diane Winton, Curry C.M.E. Church; and Eulacie Vinson, West Angeles COGIC. Also, music was provided by Jim Martin and Bobby Reed.
Church Women United (CWU) is an organized national movement that brings Christain women together in a visible community to witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and enabled by the Holy Spirit, to go out into every community and nation as instruments of reconciling love. The CWU next meeting is Nov 6th save the date and read the Los Angeles Sentinel for more details