By Dianna Johnson
The Houston Sun Newspaper celebrated its 32nd Anniversary on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at the historical Buffalo Soldiers National Museum located in Houston’s Museum district. The anniversary luncheon was a celebration of recognition of THS great achievements and civic services for the community. It was also a platform to honor prominent individuals throughout the city of Houston. Educators, Doctors, Lawyers, local business owners, Executives, and Community Activist were a few among the honorees that the Sun recognizes as Pillars of Success. Young Jordan Bush got the program started by toasting the honorees with jazz and classical music during the VIP reception followed by young Marcaus Nickle’s introduction of, the Master of Ceremonies, news anchor Jose Grinan of KRIV-TV, FOX 26 morning news was the host for the afternoon.
The Pillars of Strength who hold the Light is an award created by Dorris Ellis Robinson, cofounder of The Houston Sun Newspaper to recognize the accomplishments, achievements and contributions that others have provided for the Houston community through their boundless efforts to bring forth change and positivity to the city. “Whatever you choose to do in life, do something for the people,” said Ellis Robinson, words given to her from the great Dr. Martin Luther Jr. when she was a young girl. “These honorees are holding the light by their service to Houston which illuminates the path for others.” Ellis Robinson continued. The event began with the introduction of the Pillars of Strength honorees.
Honoree are as followed: Lauren Anderson, Houston Ballet; Eugene Barrington Ph.D. Retired Texas Southern University Professor; Lois C. Ray, Realtor; Pastor Kirby John Caldwell, Windsor Village United Methodist Church; Karen Franklin, World Youth Foundation; Attorney Anthony Griffin, Kathy Johnson Green, Experience in Dance; Mark Holley, Holley’s Seafood and Oyster Restaurant; Rev. Michael Crow, Barber Memorial MBC; Rev. Samuel Smith, Mt. Horeb MBC in Freedmen’s Town; Christina Sanders, Young Political Scientist; Gladys House, Freedmen’s Town Association; Dr. Howard Harris, Jazz Professor and Founder of the People’s Workshop; Jean Jones, Educator and Community Volunteer; Power 4 Life Ministries, Rev. Catherine Smith and Minister Madelyn Traylor; Honorable Al Edwards, Fred Hoyer, VP Bayway Lincoln; Deborah Barriere, Retired educator and community volunteer; Dr. Alvia Wardlaw, PhD., Texas Southern University Museum Director and Professor, and Honorable Francis “Sissy” Farenthold
At the start of the ceremony, Mayoral hopeful Sylvester Turner, stopped by to extend congratulations on the Houston Sun Newspaper 32nd Anniversary Scholarship & Pillar Awards and to acknowledged the newspaper for its continuous support and coverage on community electoral and political campaigns throughout the city of Houston.
The event proceeded with a magnificent melody by Texas Southern University’s School of Music students, Julio Peterson and Ashton Jones. Following, each honoree was given an award of recognition for their achievements and services and given a moment to embrace the audience with words of gratitude.
A silhouette saluting the honorees was presented by Freje Davis, a former student of honoree, Lauren Anderson, the first African American principal dancer for the Houston Ballet. The heartfelt performance brought tears of joy to Anderson and others in the room. Anderson was so grateful to be considered as an honoree amongst other prominent pillars of the community. “I was shocked at the invite and honored to be part of a group of distinguish men and women,” said Anderson.
As the anniversary came to an end, a Presentation of Lights ceremony began with every audience member receiving a light in representation to wish each individual a lifetime of greatness and success. Host, Jose Grinan closed by asking every veteran pillar in the room to stand for acknowledgment of their contributions for making a positive impact for bettering the community. “I want to thank you all for all that you have done,” said Jose Grinan, “because of your legacy we are able to do what we love, and because of you the Houston Sun will continue to thrive for 32 more years to come.”
Other participants in the program was second and third generation Robinsons, the children and grandchildren of Lonal Robinson and Dorris Ellis Robinson. Participants were: Sirrod and Dorcaus Robinson, and grandson of the couple, Marcaus Nickle. Present in the audience was Rashaud Williams, the 6 month old grandson of the founders and son of Dorcaus Robinson. . Each honoree brought their guests to share in his or her honor and they filled the room with positive energy and excitement.
It took a stellar Steering Committee to make the event a success and Mrs. Thelma “Lady J” Johnson lead the way as honorary chairperson with Co-chairperson Helen Graham. Other committee members were: Dorris Ellis Robinson, Dorcaus Robinson, Priscilla Graham, Patricia Sullivan, Ruby Mayes, Lakesha Lewis, Dr. Jessica Randall, Amber Cloud, Christopher Allen and Sheila Ray Reed.
At the close of the debriefing, planning began for the 33rd anniversary celebration with a presentation of the Key Stone Awards. We will be seeking to honor Houstonians who are central stones at the summit of Houston’s arch, that hold the city together. Sponsors included: Bayway Lincoln, Windsor Village UMC and Texas Legislative Black Caucus.
Dorris Ellis The Houston Sun 1520 Isabella Street Houston, TX 77004 713-524-0786 713-524-6786 Fax Serving Houston Since 1983