The Jordan Park Projects Nostalgic Association hosted its second annual black history celebration called “Pioneers and Trailblazers” Mon., Feb 24 at the Enoch Davis Center. The program paid tribute to 10 selected seniors who dwelled in Jordan Park.
Each honoree was given a plaque in honor of their impact, support and humanitarian efforts shown to residents of Jordan Park Projects. Eight of the 10 are still living and the remaining two, recently deceased, received theirs posthumously and was accepted by family members.
The celebration was held in the auditorium beautifully decorated with colorful balloons and table cloths along with Afro-American artifacts. There was no shortage of attendees; the event was packed with the families of the honorees, JPPNA members and former residents of Jordan Park Projects. Rufus Lewis briefly spoke about the honorees longevity and abundant life experiences.
The highlight of the program was listening to the warm hearted introductions of the honorees which described their lives during the time they lived in the projects. They expressed their gratitude for being selected to receive their awards.
Honorees of the evening were former Jordan Park Facility Management Supervisor Walter (Jazzball) Hilliard and wife, Katie Mae Hilliard, former retired police detective, Gus Gore, former educators and administrators, Inez Ford, Arleatha Chapman, James Currington, Harold Williams (posthumously), Alvin Miller, caterer and former educator, and other longtime residents Leonard and Johnnie Mae Howard (Leonard Howard, posthumously) Edward Everett, Ruth McBride, Leatha Reese (unable to attend) and Lola Brown. The plaques thanked them for their contributions to society and for being trailblazers.
Several former residents joined or renewed their JPPNA membership as a result of being in attendance and understanding the association mission. At the culmination of the recognition program, an overflowing crowd celebrated the occasion with the honorees by enjoying a grand variety of flavorful and ethnic refreshments.
The JPPNA, Inc. annually hosts a Black Heritage Recognition Program on the fourth Monday in February, to recognize well deserving individuals for their tremendous contributions to the community. Entertainment for the evening was provided by Rikaya Williams, who performed two inspirational mime dances. Leroy Lewis acted as master of ceremonies for the evening.