Former governor to speak at local NAACP chapter’s Freedom Fund dinner


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 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.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment