Group holds annual gala

Published 9:55 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2017

An organization of local women in ministry celebrated its fourth annual gala recently, giving scholarships and donations to a shelter for abused women and their children as part of the celebration.

Deborah’s Women in Ministry held the event Dec. 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. More than 170 were in attendance.

“We were quite pleased with the event,” the Rev. Madelene Beard said.

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The guest speaker was Debra Huffman Church, first lady of the Chapel Grove United Church of Christ in Windsor.

The event featured a presentation of donations for the Genieve Shelter to its executive director, Marleisa Montgomery. Two scholarships were also presented.

The organization, which was founded in 2008, started having an end-of-year gathering that grew into the gala, Beard said.

“It was something we wanted to do that was the culmination of our hard work as professional women in ministry,” Beard said. “Also, we wanted to have an impact on the community, which really means a lot to us.”

The scholarships were presented to Kiera Rountree and Elizabeth Childs.

Rountree is a pharmacy major at Hampton University, said Ann Watson Hill, of the organization. Childs attends the University of Maryland, where she is an engineering major.

“We so greatly admired these two young ladies, not only because they have seen fit to pursue a good education, but also because they were the only two who applied,” Beard said. “To me, that says something about these two young ladies.”

Beard said the organization is seeking more ways to serve the community in the future.

“We’re always looking for opportunities to better serve our community,” she said. “We want to do more for the community.”

Members of the organization include president, the Rev. Dr. Madelene Beard; secretary, the Rev. Janice White; treasurer, the Rev. Sheila Parker; chaplain, the Rev. Eula Marshall; public relations chairs, the Rev. Dr. Ann Watson Hill and Elder Mirinda Turner; and other members, the Rev. Elaine D. Beamon, Minister Rose Collins, the Rev. Doretta Gilliam, the Rev. Jeanette M. Graham, the Rev. Tina Lewis and Minister Darlene D. Skeeter.