By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
The Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. held a public recognition banquet Friday June 3, 2022 at the Hilton Garden Inn Perrysburg as a part of the national organization’s 82nd Midwest Regional Conference. Six community leaders received special recognition for their exemplary dedication to the community.
The local Beta Gamma Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. hosted the organization’s 82nd Midwest Regional Conference this weekend June 2-5. The prestigious, professional organization of teachers was founded in 1923. Both the national president, Margarette Galloway, and regional officers were in attendance for the conference.
The theme was “The Education Saga Continues: Supreme in Excellence & Exemplary in Service.” The moderator for the evening was Chairperson Dorothy Batson. Pandra Taylor, conference coordinator provided the welcome. Greetings were provided by Vikki Pruitte-Sorrels, Midwest Regional Member at Large, Margarette Galloway, National President, and Tiffany M. Pritchett Midwest Regional Director.
“We are excited to extend greetings on behalf of [your] national officers… I [honor] the Midwest Region for acknowledging, recognizing and celebrating outstanding citizens within your community. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Congratulations to the honorees”, said Galloway.
The following honorees received recognition for their years of community service and commitment to others:
82nd Midwest Regional Literacy Award
Clara Petty, Executive Director of Freedom School (Children’s Defense Fund)
Freedom School has operated at Monroe Street United Methodist Church since 2018. The organization was established by the Children’s Defense Fund in 1995. The K-12 summer program is an answer to “the cradle to prison pipeline and offers a safe space for children to strengthen reading skills and experience new opportunities to grow and serve.” Children receive multiculturally relevant instruction and reading materials as part of the program.
82nd Midwest Regional Literacy Award
Bonita Adams, Author & Playwright
Bonita Adams is an award-winning playwright. Her play, “Obama Looks Back”, was featured in the D.C. Black Theater Festival and her play “My Mother Prayed for Me” received recognition at the A Taste of Theater Festival. She has written, produced and directed over 10 stage plays receiving numerous awards and recognition for her work. Adams, along with her husband, James L. Adams, founded JAB Transportation, JAB ETM Productions, LLC and Write the Vision Publishing, LLC.
Outstanding Education Award
Rev. John C. Jones, President of HOPE Toledo PreK Program
HOPE Toledo is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening education access and opportunity for Toledo’s children. Jones leads HOPE Toledo’s focus “to advocate, support and ensure equitable access to high quality education for Toledo’s children” by providing: high quality early childhood education (preschool) for Toledo’s four year olds and expanding the opportunity for every Toledo high school graduate to have a scholarship to a college, career-technical, or postsecondary trade school.
Outstanding Community Service Award
Sonia Flunder McNair, Urban Wholistics
Sonia Flunder McNair is the CEO and founder of SONIA Organics, LLC a line of health, hygiene and beauty products “designed to help you live, feel and be well”. She has established connections with many organizations to spread natural health education and resources including Wooster College, the University of Toledo, Monroe Street Neighborhood Center and others. She hopes to establish Toledo’s first school of urban agriculture and establish a wellness culture that will include organic product formulation, botany and herb education.
Outstanding Soror Award
Linda Hannibal-Collins, 1st Vice President Beta Gamma Chapter
Linda Hannibal-Collins retired after 28 years in the Toledo Public Schools system; she started her teaching career as an instructor in the Practical Nursing Program then moved to Scott High School where she taught in Medical Technology. As a member of Phi Delta Kappa for 22 years she has served as president, Vice President and Youth advisor of her local chapter and Xinos Advisory Chair and Parliamentarian on the regional level. She continues to serve as a tutor in the medical field.
Beta Gamma Literacy Award
Myra G. Love, Local Children’s Author
Myra Love is an author and speaker who loves spreading the Gospel. She has written several books and has been featured in the Toledo Blade, Chanell 11, Chanell 13 News and gospel radio stations. Her Davey Panda Books are an encouragement and inspiration to young children that are struggling in their own “skin.” Through the character of Davey Panda, they learn to be resilient and that their lives have purpose.
Toledo City Councilwoman Cerssandra McPherson presented special proclamation recognizing the organization.
Guests enjoyed dinner and were serenaded by Deborah Gardner & Friends of Jazz. The Public Recognition Dinner Committee was Dorothy Batson (Chairperson), Patrece Maggott (Co-Chairperson), Hellen Sallee and Tina Hall. President of the Beta Gamma Chapter is Jacqueline Quinn.
On Saturday, the sorority concluded its weekend with a Vital Issues Breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn Saturday were three speakers discussed “Trauma Effecting our Educational System: The Educators, Students and Parents.”