Franklin County residents to be honored at sorority banquet

By Staff
Kristy Williams Thompson FCT News Intern
The Nu Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority will celebrate 20 years of community service by honoring four local residents with outstanding senior and community service awards at their Finer Womanhood Scholarship Awards Banquet to be held April 22 at 6 p.m. at the Tuscumbia Multi-Purpose Center.
Sheryl Hamilton, president of the Nu Eta Zeta Chapter, said the awards were open to any member of the community who qualified.
"We sent letters asking for recommendations to the various churches and organizations in the area, and the organizations would type a brief description of those they were nominating and send it in. Our committee then decided from those recommendations," said Hamilton.
Mrs. Wilhelmina W. Scott and Mrs. Dorothy Oates, both from Russellville, were chosen to receive the Outstanding Senior Award.
Scott and her husband, Fletcher Scott, attend St. Paul C.M.E. Church. She became a teacher after graduating from Alabama State University and retired from West Elementary in 1983.
Scott also kept busy with church activities, serving as musician for many years. She is now an Emeritus member of the Stewardess Board and serves in the Senior Choir. She is also musician for Golden Chapter #16, Order of the Eastern Star.
Oates is a member of Zion #1 Baptist Church in Barton. She was married to Walter Ed Oates for 40 years before he died. She is a devoted mother and grandmother.
Oates serves unselfishly on the church kitchen committee, works full-time at SunBridge Care and Rehabilitation Center, and also cares for her sister-in-law.
Victoria Johnson, Oates's daughter, said Oates "is an outstanding senior because of her motivation and inspiration to all those around her. In her quiet way, she spreads cheer to those she comes in contact with on a daily basis."
Clarence Lucas and Charles Henry James, both from Russellville, were chosen to receive the Community Service Award.
Lucas is married to Earlene Lucas and they have raised three children and a granddaughter. He is a veteran who served in the Navy during World War II. He recently joined New Jerusalem M.B. Church after being a member of the Lutheran Church for many years.
He was appointed by the mayor's office to serve on the industrial board several years ago and was instrumental in Gold Kist's decision to choose Russellville as a site for one of its plants. He also pushed for the construction of the Herbert Robinson Community Center in Franklin County that has been the site of numerous programs, including Black History Programs attended by area schools. Lucas is also a member of Franklin County's Genealogy Club.
Lucas also has future plans for his community including establishing an educational fund for children in his church and encouraging men to work with the boys of their communities.
"I love to see children doing well. My purpose in life has always been to help the younger person," Lucas said.
Lucas said he feels that receiving the award is a great honor and he is appreciative.
James is a member of First Baptist Church in Russellville where he serves on the Deacon Board.
James served four years in the Marines, and then worked for 30 years for the city in Miami, Florida.
James moved back to Russellville in 1987 and started serving on the Commission for the Housing Authority. They recently erected a building in James' honor that now houses The Community Action Agency. This agency provides services to the community including help with utility bills, hospital bills, and the purchase of medicine.
James was also instrumental in developing the Reedtown Class Reunion and is presently a representative for Franklin County on the NACOLG board.
According to those who nominated James, Hamilton Ministries, "You can always find Mr. James giving a positive word to young people about education and receiving Christ as their Lord and Savior."
Hamilton will also be recognized for being a charter member who still actively supports the sorority.
The organization provides community service for Franklin, Colbert, Lauderdale, and Lawrence counties, and their projects have included canned food drives, giveaways during Christmas holidays, and educational workshops. They also donate to The March of Dimes and The American Cancer Society.
In June they will sponsor The Blue and White Beauty Walk. Participants of all ages will be accepted.
"We are doing this to encourage the youth with poise, confidence, and self-esteem," said Hamilton.
Tickets to the Scholarship Awards Banquet are $25, and scholarship donations are appreciated.

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