NAACP installs new officers

Published 11:37 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New officers of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Nansemond-Suffolk branch, take the oath of office. They are Paula Scott, Vanessa Savage, Costellar Ledbetter, Eddie Hicks and Virgie Sandifer.

The Nansemond-Suffolk branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People installed new officers during its meeting Tuesday.

Costellar Ledbetter, a community activist and retired teacher, will serve as the president of the branch for a two-year term. She replaces Lue Ward, whose term was about to expire anyway when he stepped down after being elected to City Council in November.

“I feel very humbled and honored to serve as president of this branch,” Ledbetter said after taking an oath on Tuesday.

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Ledbetter, who taught English and business in Suffolk Public Schools for 32 years, also is involved in the Suffolk Retired Teachers Association, the East Suffolk Alumni Association and the National Council of Negro Women.

But most of her community service has been outside these organizations. She is widely known for carrying food to the sick, helping young people get tuxedos and corsages for prom and ensuring families had food and gifts on Christmas — good deeds to which others at Tuesday’s meeting testified.

“She came to my house and took care of me,” Johnnie Adams said of a time she was ill shortly after moving to Suffolk. “She didn’t know me that well, but she came by each and every day.”

Ledbetter received an Implement the King Dream Award in 2011 from Unique KHC Productions.

“One of the things we want to make sure is that we are vigilant in the community,” Ledbetter said Tuesday. “This is a new beginning. I know I can do the job, because I’ve got Jesus on my side.”

Eddie Hicks also was sworn in as the vice president of the branch. He has been president of the Lake Kennedy Civic League.

“I’m really happy that they chose me to be vice president of the NAACP,” Hicks said. “I’m willing to work hard to make things better for everybody, not only for the black race but for the white and whatever color. I want to treat everybody as I like to be treated.”

Other officers sworn in were Paula Scott, corresponding secretary; Vanessa Savage, executive secretary; and Virgie Sandifer, treasurer.