C. Faye Tillery Fund holds 11th annual scholarship awards

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 25, 2024

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The C. Faye Tillery Fund celebrated its 11th annual C. Faye Tillery Youth Volunteer Scholarship Luncheon this month to honor award recipients and the memory of C. Faye Tillery, a former Suffolk Parks and Recreation employee who aimed to help youth become the best versions of themselves. 

Held on Saturday, April 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront Hotel, the yearly event also recognized the luncheon’s community honorees for their contributions to the C. Faye Tillery Back to School Family Adoption, C. Faye Tillery and Joanne Tillery Ricks Christmas Adoption and various Tillery family-led community service projects. Sponsored TE Cooke-Overton Funeral Home, Pastor Khari Knox of Greater New Hope Baptist Church served as guest speaker of the luncheon. Scholarship Committee Member Crystal Artis talked a bit about the event.

“It was an opportunity for us to award and give back to the youth in our community here in Virginia,” Artis said. “We had great food, we had great speakers and we had great participation.”

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Following Tillery passing in 1998 after her battle with cervical cancer, the fund has continued to honor her life through the fund and by helping community youth. Artis talked about the fund’s work in giving back to the community.

“We do have the scholarship that’s awarded every year,” Artis said. “However, we do back to school giveaways and drives and we also do Christmas giveaways… And we also have done a giveback to the American Cancer Society in her honor as well.” 

This year’s scholarship winners include Kaleb Richardson(1st Place), Caleb Payne(2nd Place), Jenesis Bannarbie(3rd Place) and Brenda Holloman(4th Place).  Honorable mentions also went to Isaac Smith and Cierra Mitchell. Community honorees winners for the luncheon were Delando Smallwood, Susie D. Lang and Carol Dorsey. On being named an honoree, Susie D. Lang said it was a surprise in being named as a community honoree.

“It’s not about being recognized, it’s just about the joy that you see on the faces of these kids, as well as the luncheon,” Lang said. “They write an essay and the essay is reviewed by the committee and they make a decision based on that and generally, we get a snippet of what the essay stated. And I’m telling you, it’s just a blessing to know that these kids, they have the right mind of what they want to do and where they want to go in life and it just makes you feel so good. It just makes you want to continue to be a part of such a great scholarship fundraising as well as her back to school giveaway.”

Lang said it was a great honor and also gave a message to C. Faye Tillery Fund Committee Representative Vonda Holman-Carter for her continued work.

“Keep on doing what you’re doing. I know it’s hard, I know it’s stressful, but you are blessing so many people with what you’re doing and we are there for you, even if it just takes 10 of us, and we’re going do what needs to be done,” Lang said. “Don’t you worry. We got God in front of us and He’s going make it happen because you are doing an awesome thing.”

For more information on the C. Faye Tillery Fund, go to www.cfayetilleryfund.org.