On Saturday, the Tampa Bay community will salute African-American leaders who have blazed trails and made significant contributions throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough counties during the inaugural Legends Ball.
A fundraiser hosted by the Friends of the Carter G. Woodson Museum, net proceeds will benefit the museum's programming initiatives.
"We are fortunate to live in a community with countless legends whose work and actions have created opportunity and insight for those of us who follow," said Terri Lipsey Scott, chair of the Friends of the Museum, a guild organization.
"The selection committee had the unenviable job of reviewing the contributions of our city's most notable African-American leaders and narrowing that list to the legends we'll honor this weekend," Scott said. "We were awed by the wealth of legendary leadership our community can claim. While the list of potential honorees ran long, those selected distinguished themselves with a common commitment to giving back more than they've received."
Each legend's contributions extend far beyond the African-American community and helped shape the history of our communities and state.
From Dr. Goliath Davis III, St. Petersburg's first African-American police chief, to Dr. Paul McRae, Bayfront Medical Center's first African-American to be named chief-of-staff, the elite group's role as pioneers is evident.
The community will offer thanks and appreciation to other legends including Vyrle Davis, a longtime education administrator and Pinellas schools area superintendent whose local example of leadership manifests in the work of Gov. Charlie Crist, one of his former students, and Eugene Danzey and P.J. Benton-Danzey, entrepreneurs whose business acumen continues to transform the lives of hundreds of employees in their restaurants franchises.
More than 30 legends will be honored during Saturday's festivities. Legends of the past include "The Courageous 12," St. Petersburg police officers who sued the city in the 1960s to gain the right to patrol the entire city; the Rev. Goldie Thompson, Iveta Martin-Berry, George Perkins, Cleveland Johnson, Dr. Enoch Davis, Dr. Fred Alsup, Perkins Shelton, Peggy Peterman and Nathaniel Love Brown.
The 2008 Legends are: law enforcement, Goliath Davis III; judicial, Jeanine Williams; broadcast media, Dianne Hughes; community activism, the Rev. Louis Murphy; education, Vyrle Davis; entrepreneurship, Eugene and P.J. Benton Danzey; faith-based leadership, the Rev. Dr. Wayne Thompson; journalism, Karen Brown Dunlap; medical, Dr. Paul McRae; social justice, Sevelle Brown; and sports, Glen Edwards.
For more information, call Terri Lipsey Scott at (727) 893-7118 or Kanika Tomalin at (727) 893-6720.