The Liberty County Martin Luther King Observance Association has announced award recipients for the 2018 Martin Luther King Celebration, which is this weekend and Monday.
Demonstrated community service must be the major focus of the winners’ lives, according to celebration committee First Vice President Donald Lovette.
"Each of these recipients well represent the award categories for which they are selected," he said.
The grand marshal for Monday’s parade is Debra Bacon-Frazier. A native of Miami, FL, she is the daughter of the late Eloise and Charles Robinson Sr. She grew up in the Longreach community near Riceboro, attended Liberty County schools and graduated from Bradwell Institute in 1981.
She lives in Riceboro with her husband Michael and two daughters Lakenyia and Mikia.
A 29-year employee of the Liberty County Board of Education, she has been a paraprofessional, teacher, curriculum coordinator, central office curriculum specialist, assistant principal and principal, and has been leading Midway Middle School for 13 years. She is a graduate of Armstrong Atlantic State, Central Michigan, Georgia Southern and Nova Southeastern universities, obtaining her education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction at Nova.
Frazier is a member of Riceboro Community Churches, Hi-Fidelity Civic Club, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and First Zion Baptist Church, where she is involved with various committees involving the youth and is president of the trustee board.
She said she has a passion for young people. Her motto is "You See My Glory, But You Don’t Know My Story."
The MLKOA Community Service Award goes to Nu Rho Omega Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest African-American sorority in America.
Lovette said these women are dedicated to scholarship, leadership and service to all mankind. This chapter was chartered in 1980 in Hinesville. Since then members have donated thousands of hours to organizations such as American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, American Red Cross, Alzheimer’s Association and others.
The Chapter has also awarded thousands of dollars to scholarships, sponsored the MLK Leadership Breakfast, partnered with the Liberty County Headstart and Keep Liberty Beautiful, and adopted the Johnnie Frasier Park in Walthourville. Members have also sponsored workshops addressing health issues, providing economic empowerment training and promotion of the arts.
In 2007 the Liberty County Commission proclaimed the year as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in Liberty County, recognizing their contributions.
Nathan Rashid Wallace received this year’s youth award. He is the son of Lucinda and Larry Wallace and a 2017 graduate of Bradwell institute. At Bradwell, Wallace was senior class and student council president. He graduated in the National Honors Society. A crowning moment of his senior year was being selected as one of the 12 shining seniors by the Coastal Courier.
Wallace played football and was a three year starter. He was also a captain on the team, held the highest GPA on the team his junior year and earned a weightlifting Iron Tiger award.
He was a three-time regional extemporaneous public speaker winner and state competitor for the literary team. In addition Wallace won the local Rotary Interact speech contest. He qualified twice for state impromptu public contest and was a state finalist. He earned second place in the state SkillsUSA contest with a prepared speech.
His other extracurricular activities include being an officer for the Interact Club, which included raising $2,000 for Rotary’s Pennies for Polio. A member of FBLA, he qualified three times for state in parliamentary procedure and won second place in 2017. Wallace was selected for Young Adult Leaders of Liberty County and was named YALL’s youth leader of the year.
In the community, Wallace was on the NAACP youth council. He served as the legal redress officer and won an NAACP scholarship and the NAACP youth award. He belongs to Baconton Baptist Church.
He is currently a history major with a concentration in pre law and minor in criminal justice at Georgia State University, where he is a member of the Black Student Alliance, Conscious Collective. He is also a member of Peerless Perfection, a mentoring, step and volunteer organization. He hopes to attend law school.
The Hour Glass Lodge 113 received the MLKOA Committee Award. For 32 years members have supported the Liberty County MLK Observance Association. Each year, the men of lodge escort dignitaries during the commemorative program and chauffer officials and guests during the MLK Parade. They also setup and dismantle the commemorative program stage at Bradwell. Lovette acknowledged Earnest Williams, the lode’s past worshipful master, for annually securing the group’s involvement.
"Their hard work and dedication has been a priceless contribution to the success of Liberty County’s MLK celebration for more than three decades," Lovette said.— Special to the Courier