Toledo NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet

Rev. Wilie Perryman, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, John Rudley

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

The Glass City Convention Center banquet room was filled as members and officers of the Toledo Unit NAACP to celebrate the 107th Freedom Fund Dinner on Saturday, October 22. This year’s theme was “This is Power.”

Sax B, a live musician, serenaded guests as they mingled and networked within the newly renovated facility. Kristian Brown, the seasoned event mistress of ceremonies and 13abc anchor, officially opened the banquet. The program continued with Amanda Herron, leading the Negro National Anthem, “Life Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” and Toledo NAACP President Rev. Willie Perryman officially welcomed the attendees.

“Welcome to the 107th Toledo NAACP Freedom Fund celebration. You all look absolutely beautiful tonight and I’m honored to serve again as mistress of ceremonies,” shared Brown.

“We’re pleased to have you join us for the 107th annual banquet. Let’s not forget that the black vote counts, your vote counts, so vote,” said Perryman.

Deborah Barnett and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz

The banquet recognized two local individuals, Captain Komako Lynnette Goolsby and Vince Davis. Goolsby graduated from Start High School and currently lives in Sylvania. She become a fire fighter in 2006, obtained her Paramedic certification in 2009, was promoted to lieutenant in 2019 and made history again since becoming the first African American woman to be promoted to Captain.

Davis, the second honoree, was born and raised in New Jersey and eventually moved to Toledo and earned a masters degree from University of Toledo. Davis is involved in several organizations such as the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Boule and several others. Davis also is a representative of State Farm Insurance company and the family operates the Devilbiss Mansion and surrounding houses.

In addition to Goolsby and Davis, Toledo NAACP executive committee members Theresa Gabriel and Carleton Finkbeiner were honored with tokens of appreciation and Ohio Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson presented John Rudley, PhD, with a proclamation from the Ohio House of Representatives.

Rudley, the keynote speaker, was a four-year starter and leading scorer on the University of Toledo Rockets basketball team, earned a master’s degree and PhD in education administration from Tennessee State, served as the president of Texas Southern University from 2008 to 2016, and current president emeritus at the university. Rudley was inducted into the University of Toledo Athletic Hall of Fame in 2021.

Theresa M. Gabriel, Rev. Willie Perryman and Anita Madison

Rudley sent the audience on a journey through history, through a series of events and reactions that occurred in the year that Toledo NAACP was founded.

“Thank you Dr. Perryman, the host committee and Mr. Ray Woods. I applaud all of the past presidents; your sacrifice wasn’t forgotten. Imagine what life was like 107 years ago, what changes occurred in the world and our communities,” said Rudley.

The 2022 Freedom Fund committee: Michael Alexander, chair; Anita Madison, co-chair; Rev. W.L. Perryman, PhD and Darlene Sweeney-Newbern, Kandice Saulsberry, Francis Amison, Doris Roberts, Theresa Gabriel, Bea Daniels, Darryl Jones, Brittany Jones and Cynthia Savage.

The 2022 Toledo Branch officers: Rev. Willie Perryman, DMin, president; Micheal Alexander, first vice-president; Jasmine White, second vice-president; WilliAnne Moore, third vice-president; Frances Amison, treasurer; and Kandice Saulsberry, assistant secretary.