Larry Wright, the Bullets basketball star, was there. His former coach at Western High School, Robert Piper, Foreign Service Officer William Davis of Potomac and Board of Education Member Roscoe Nix were also among the black luminaries on hand to present the Youth Achievement Awards of the Montgomery County Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest black fraternity in the country.
At a ceremony held at Northwood High School in Silver Spring last week-end, 56 of the 96 nominees from Montgomery County public high schools and private schools were presented achievement awards in the fields of the arts, academics, citizenship, athletics and versatility.
"We want to honor outstanding black students who, we feel, don't always receive the recognition they [WORD ILLEGIBLE]," said Alpha Phi Alpha member Charvey T. Brinson. "We want to encourage them to continue in their endeavors."
The versatility awards, which were given in honor of Alpha Phi Alpha member Paul Robeson, went to students who, like Robeson, excelled in academics as well as arts, sports, citizenship or other fields. Darlene Bell from Poolesville High School, for example, won on the basis of her membership in the National Honor Society, participation on basketball, tennis and softball teams, leadership within student government and for being a reporter for her school newspaper.
Other versatility award winners were Kedric Dines of Springbook High School, Sharon Fairley of the Academy of Holy Cross, Kyra Gaunt and Valerie Gordon of Richard Montgomery High School, Vickie Gipson of Washington Ethical Society School, James Gregg of Magruder High School, Kenneth Jackson, Jr. and Maryse Mills of Kennedy High School, Brett Tompkins of Sherwood High School, Larry Walker and Terri Wooden of Seneca Valley High School, Josette Williams of Holton Arms School, Edward Wilson of Northwood High School and Cynthia Wood of Blair High School.
Academic achievement awards, in honor of Alpha member W. B. DuBois, went to Beverly Fontaine who maintained a 4.0 average at Gaithersburg High School, and to Kim Frazier, Eurica Hill, Lisa White, Sheila Coles, Karen Holloway, Sandra Johnson, Donovan Robinson and Alan Bowser.
Dr. Lionel C. Barrow, Dean of the School of Communications at Howard University, and David Haley, son of "Roots" author Alex Haley, presented the awards for achievement in the arts in honor of Alpha member Duke Ellington. The winners were Bridgette Bethel, Arthur Gipson, Karen Thomas, Anne Haley, Felecia Waddleton, Wenona Gladden, Bernadette Gardner and Marian Bowden.
Athletic awards, which were presented by Wright in honor of Alpha member Jesse Owens, went to Marcus-Clark, Dwight Cook, Joseph Daniels, Malvin Whitfield II, Mary Ellen Donfor, Richard Harris, Ray Marshall, Reid Jackson, Jr., Joe Earl, Jr., Eric Smith, Lawrence. Alexander and Daryl Prather.
Citizenship awards, in honor of Alpha member Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., went to Diane Ford, Sandra Cooper, Ann Walker, Coby Ransom, Pricilla Spates, Cheryln Stansbury, Aaron Terry, John Gloster, Sandra Brewer, Karen Wade, Vikki Goodrich and Pamela McCurty.
The presentation ceremonies were enlivened, at intervals, by solos by Don Carr and Beverly Pryde as well as by a rousing mini-concert by the Takoma Park Junior High School Band led by Ray E. Harry.