Friends of Yates Inc. to hold its 38th annual Black Men and Women of Distinction Award ceremony on Feb. 25

by Arica Roland, Friends of Yates

In honor of Black History Month, Friends of Yates, Inc., has invited the community to celebrate the accomplishments of African American community leaders.

The 38th Annual Black Men and Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, at Friends of Yates 1418 Garfield Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

It is because of the groundbreaking accomplishments of African American leaders and pioneers of the past, determined to see positive change, that African American leaders and pioneers of today continue to break barriers, reach new heights and accomplish many things that were once considered impossible.

These activists, doctors, lawyers, educators, entrepreneurs, and countless others, make the difference in our community, society, and our world, because of their commitment, hard work, determination, and relentless drive for change and equality. It is this amazing history that we reflect upon, that propels us into our future, eager to follow in the footsteps of those who have already paved the way.

The men and women to be inducted into this alliance, as Black Men and Women of Distinction, strive not only for personal success, but, also, for the success of their communities. The Rev. Desmond C. Lamb of Forest Grove Baptist Church, the Rev. Bob Milan Jr. of Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church, Kansas Rep. Tom Burroughs, along with Deputy Chief Tyrone Garner, and Battalion Chief Morris Letcher will be the presenters for this year’s Black Men and Women of Distinction Award Ceremony.

The 2018 Black Men and Women of Distinction recipients are Rosalyn Berry, Cynthia Bradford, Tama Bush, Shannon Cade, Steven Cade, Larry Carr, Miesha Carr, Evelyn Criswell, Shirley Cruitt, Karma Depriest, Gregory Gant, Randy George, Patricia Jackson, Willa Jones, Ashtan Mitchell, Damon Mitchell, Sondra Tucker, Eric Williams and Theryl Holland-Yancy.

Also to be honored are Dr. Carol Horton-Henley and Daryl Horton with the “2018 Donald D. Sewing Service Award” for their outstanding service and contributions to the community.

Dr. Carol D. Horton-Henley

Dr. Carol D. Horton-Henley is a chief dental officer at Myrtle Hilliard Davis Comprehensive Health Centers, Inc. Dr. Henley has endlessly devoted her career to serving the underserved in the community.

She has been a dental practitioner for 30 years and always given attention to every patient. It has always been her vision to advocate on behalf of those that are in need of quality dental care. Many of these patients would have nowhere else to turn for their dental needs.

Daryl E. Horton

Daryl E. Horton is the regional plant manager at Ardent Mills. In this capacity he is responsible for the profit and loss for three flour mills located in the state of California. Throughout his career, Horton has been passionate about and regarded as an advocate for workplace diversity, most recently serving as chair of ConAgra Foods Black Employee Network. As an avid sports fan, he utilizes his passion for competition to develop high performance work teams strategically positioned to succeed.

This year, Friends of Yates has named Claudean Horton the “Portrait of a Black Woman” recipient, with the award presented by her daughter, Dr. Carol D. Horton-Henley. The “Portrait of a Black Man” will be awarded to Wilburt Horton, presented by his son, Daryl Horton.

Wilburt and Claudean Horton

Claudean Horton earned her Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Kansas City Kansas Community College. Her professional career spans more than five decades in retail sales and customer service. She retired from Citicorp Credit Services as the supervisor of the Foreign Language Department in 1994. Her commitment to detail, relentless pursuit of perfection and undying desire to provide customers with the best possible service allowed her to advance through the management ranks at both Sears Roebuck and Co. as well as Citicorp Services. Her long-standing presence in retail sales provided the expertise for her to serve as the instructor for a retail selling specialist class sponsored by the Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Wilburt S. Horton is a life-time resident of Kansas City, Kansas, and a graduate of Sumner High School, Class of 1955. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and served for two years. He then worked for Schlitz Brewing Co. Horton was one of the first two minorities hired by Schlitz. His dedication and work ethic propelled him to become the first African American salaried lab technician. His employment ended when Schlitz moved out of state.

He went onto work for Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities. Horton retired in 1996 as a production supervisor. He was also a long-time mathematics tutor at Douglas Elementary. He earned his Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Kansas City Kansas Community College. In his quiet spirit, Horton consistently extends a helping hand to others at church and in the community.

Also, this year’s celebration will include the naming and dedication of Friends of Yates’ newly renovated office spaces after individuals who’ve been staunch supporters of the mission of Friends of Yates throughout the years.

Individuals and couples to receive this honor include Emogene McMurtrey “Office of Excellence,” Mr. and Mrs. James and Phyllis White “Office of Knowledge,” Mrs. Rosalyn Brown “Office of Leadership,” Mr. and Mrs. Joe and Peggy Taylor “Office of Commitment,” Mr. and Mrs. Gerald and Lisa Douglass “Office of Caring and Humility,” Dr. Jessie Kirksey “Creative Energy Youth Center,” Commissioner Harold Johnson “Office of Accountability,” The Honorable Judge Timothy and Mrs. Tamara Dupree “Office of Law,” District Attorney Mark and Mrs. Attorney Shanelle Dupree “Office of Justice,” Mrs. Marie Jackson “Office of Wisdom,” Mr. and Mrs. James and Ernestine Pilcher “Office of Sustainability,” Mrs. Mary Cruitt “Office of Kindness,” Mr. Lyle and Mrs. Marian Van Vleet “Office of Compassion,” Mr. Steve and Mrs. Marsha Nicely “Office of Partnership,” Mr. Coy Gill-Pharmacare Prescription Inc. “Office of Enterprise,” Dr. Rev. Nelson “Fuzzy” and Mrs. Cheryl Thompson, Mr. Clyde Townsend and Mrs. Deweylene Story, Dr. Charles and Mrs. Ora Alexander “Auditorium,” Mr. Bob Milan Sr. “Office of Community,” Mrs. Ossie Irons and Mrs. Benice Meeks, “Wing of Hope, Help and Determination,” Mr. Marion and Mrs. Denise Jordan “Retreat Lounge “and Mrs. Linda Winter “Purple Passion Waiting Area.”

This highly esteemed celebration of accomplishments of African Americans will spotlight some of Kansas City’s finest leaders and talent. Nicole Phillips, meteorologist for KSHB-41, will act as celebrity mistress of ceremony. To help set the atmosphere, and usher in the presence of the Lord, the Rev. Dr. R.L. Baynham from Metropolitan Baptist Church will provide the invocation and benediction followed by a welcome to guests by Rosalyn Brown, Friends of Yates, board president.

Metropolitan Angels 5-7-8, also from Metropolitan Baptist Church will share a liturgical dance and Carolynn Washington of Friends of Yates and Doretha Kay Mabion will both provide musical selections.

Friends of Yates, incorporated in 1979, as a supportive arm of Yates Branch YWCA, continues to be a force in the Kansas City, Kansas, community since becoming the legal entity of Yates Branch YWCA, in 1982. It provides services, and a sense of identity, to children, teens, adults and senior citizens. In the tradition of the Yates branch YWCA, organized in 1913, Friends of Yates is proud to celebrate over 105 years of service to our community. The programs and services of Friends of Yates, Inc., include: the Della Gill/Joyce H. Williams Center for victims and their children, the first and only comprehensive domestic violence Shelter/Transitional Housing program in Wyandotte County assisting victims of domestic and sexual violence, dating and stalking; Men and Women of Distinction Program, which has been honoring men and women for 38 years during “Black History Month,” who have, or are still, making outstanding contributions to the community; Friends of Yates Nursing Home Support Group; Judge Meeks Jr./Meeks/Burks/Attorney; Jackson/Robinson Library; Attorney Shelby Watson Learning Center; Crime Awareness Coordinating Efforts (C.A.C.E.); Marie Grant Child Advocacy Center; Healthy Eating/Healthy Living Nutritional Program; Pathway to Advocacy Violence Free Living and Economic Empowerment (P.A.V.E) Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Program; Teen Dating Violence Prevention Programs, the BridgeS.P.A.N. Hospital Advocacy Program, and Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model (T.R.E.M.)

This is a free event, open to the public. For more information, or to find out how to be a volunteer or partner, call 913-321-1566 ext. 225.