Woodis to be honored

Published 6:29 pm Saturday, January 16, 2016

Nansemond River High School band director Edward Woodis will be honored at Monday’s second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Benefit Brunch hosted by the S. Delois Mayes Scholarship Foundation.

Nansemond River High School’s Edward Woodis will be honored at an event on Monday

Nansemond River High School’s Edward Woodis will be honored at an event on Monday

“It’s an honor,” Woodis said Friday. “I do this because I love it, but I really didn’t see this coming.”

Woodis was nominated by a senior in the Magnificent Marching Warriors, Phylicia Nixon, on behalf of the entire band.

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“Mr. Woodis’ passion is children, and he not only says it, he demonstrates it,” Nixon wrote. “He provides us with opportunities we would not otherwise have. When you feel as though you are ready to give up, Mr. Woodis is there to lend an ear and give sound advice.”

Nixon added in a phone interview that Woodis takes time with everyone.

“Not only does he help the children in band, he helps his former students; he’ll help you even if you’re not in band,” Nixon said. “He’s been a mentor to several people, and he’s very active in his community.”

Nixon said Woodis raises money every year along with his siblings for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, in memory of his nephews, who died of cancer.

He also is active in his church, Morning Star Baptist Church, and is a U.S. Navy veteran.

“He has taken the band to new heights by being the first high-step high school marching band to participate in the oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the United States twice and now having the only high school marching band in Tidewater to participate in a Macy’s parade,” Nixon wrote, referring to the Macy’s Holiday Parade in Orlando, Fla.

Woodis will be one of the community leadership awardees, said Ebony Wright of the S. Delois Mayes Foundation.

The foundation is named after Wright’s sister, an Old Dominion University graduate who died in a car accident 14 years ago on her way home to Georgia after visiting Wright in Suffolk.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. Monday at the Hilton Garden Inn Harbour View, 5921 Harbour View Blvd. The speaker will be Gwendolyn Ellis-Wilson, director of operations at Minority AIDS Support Services and vice president of the foundation.

For more information, visit www.sdmscholarshipfoundation.com.