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Columbus County NAACP holds appreciation banquet two years in the making

Lake Waccamaw, NC - On Saturday, June 11, the NAACP Columbus County Branch held a long awaited appreciation banquet for Whiteville native Amon Eugene McKenzie in the fellowship hall of the Leamon Rogers Memorial Chapel on the campus of Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina.

“We had planned this special event to honor Mr. McKenzie for his leadership and service before COVID,” said President of the Columbus County NAACP Curtis Hill. “We knew we couldn’t let it go as he has done so much.”

McKenzie served in the US Army for 24 years, earning more than 60 awards and decorations. His most precious medals received while serving his country were his two Bronze Stars and two Meritorious Service Awards. His service to community did not end there as he serves as a Deacon at Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church. He served for 20 years as a County Commissioner and serves on the boards of several agencies including the Columbus County Partnership for Children, the Literacy Council, Cape Fear Council of Aging, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Baptist Deacon Brotherhood, Kiwanis Club and is presently serving as board chair of the Columbus County DREAM Center. He served for 28 years as the president of the local NAACP.

He currently works at Crossroads Ford of Lumberton after spending 26 years at Quality Ford.

“This is truly an opportunity to honor our own,” said Pastor Andy Anderson, the event emcee. “He came home and got involved. This is a fitting way to say thank you for years of commitment. We are celebrating a leader and the community.”

The ceremony included a performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the Columbus County Area Singers and a musical selection by Carol Caldwell.

Pastor Dr. Timothy Lance was the event’s featured speaker while presentations were made by President of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP Deborah Dicks Maxwell, Columbus County Commissioner Giles “Buddy” Byrd, and Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Church Deacon Weldon McKenzie. Tributes were made by former County Commissioner James Prevatte and Hill.

“We are able to gather here thanks to the gracious heart of BGHNC and the connection with the late Nancy Hill who spent her life in service with a special love of children,” said Anderson.

About the Columbus County Branch of the NAACP

The Columbus County NAACP is committed to advocating on the behalf of persons of color in the areas of education, health, economic opportunity, environmental and climate justice criminal justice and much more. Current areas of particular focus include fighting for education rights, pandemic relief, civic engineering around the county, and the future for Columbus County. According to Hill, “We want to bring the county together as there is more that brings us together than divides us.”

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, Success Coach services to prevent children from coming into foster care, and free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

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