David Paterson, former New York governor, will be the keynote speaker at the Rome branch of the NAACP’s 21st annual Freedom Fund dinner and program on Oct. 5 at Delta Lake Inn, 8524 Fish Hatchery Road, the NAACP announced.
The event will include a VIP reception at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6 p.m.
In addition to Paterson, who was the state’s first African-American governor and the fourth in U.S. history and was in the office from 2008-10, the program will include recognizing six local 2019 Freedom Fund honorees.
Tickets for the VIP reception and dinner are $75 in advance, and $80 at the door. Tickets for the dinner only are $50 in advance, and $55 at the door. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-271-7703.
Among the 2019 Freedom Fund honorees:
• President’s Freedom Fund Award – Jonathan Matwijec-Walda and Rome Capitol Theatre;
• Booker T. Washington Freedom Fund Award — Magistrate Jawaad Rasheed, education advocate;
• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Fund Award — Ramona Smith, Rome councilwoman;
• Shirley Chisholm Freedom Fund Award — Leigh Loughran, community activist;
• Mary McLeod Bethune Freedom Fund Award — Cam Tien, educator, activist and Rome councilman;
• Philip Randolph Freedom Fund Award — Sametta Shaw-Lipieci and New York State Public Employees Federation Union.
Congratulations to Loughran, Matwijec-Walda and Tien were cited by Rome Board of Education President Stephen P. Hampe at the board’s meeting last week. Loughran is the board’s vice president and Matwijec-Walda is the board’s clerk, while Tien is a social studies teacher at Strough Middle School.
Sponsors of the Freedom Fund dinner are Berkshire Bank and Hampton Inn, said Rome branch NAACP President Jacqueline Nelson.