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Lorain Club honors community members, students

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    Inez James, president of the Lorain Club of Negro Business and Professional Women Inc., speaks at the 45th annual Founders’ Day Luncheon on Saturday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Church in Lorain.



LORAIN — The Lorain Club of Negro Business and Professional Women Inc. celebrated the 45th annual Founders’ Day Luncheon by honoring community members and handing out scholarships.

The theme of the luncheon was “Serving our community today for a better tomorrow.”

Susann Russell, a club member for four years, said she was excited to see the community support and show appreciation to hardworking students through the scholarships.

“It’s a sense of pride because it’s something we can provide for the next generation,” she said. “When you see kids that are working, doing extracurricular activities and also helping out the community while still keeping a 4.0 (grade-point average); I mean, it’s phenomenal. We wanted to show them our appreciation.”

Russell said there were more people at the luncheon than she expected, which she welcomed. Extra tables were set up due to overflow. Russell credited the large crowd to the honorees, which included Jeanette Willis Riley, the director of campaign at United Way.

Wendy Caldwell, a member of the organization, said the luncheon served as a time for them to celebrate the women who started the club as a way to recognize professionals.

Loretta Jones, a former Lorain Schools principal, won the Sojourner Truth Award, and Dennis Carter, CEO of Carter Funeral Homes, received the Frederick Douglass Award.

Willis Riley was presented with the Community Service Award. Lorain County Commissioner Sharon Sweda, Sha’Quanna Young and Dominic Price received an On-the-Move Award.

Others receiving awards were Richard McGee, Business Award; Albert Brown, Nursing Award; Tamara Jones, Education Award; and Lapreece Thomas, First Lady Award.

More than $10,000 in scholarships to high school seniors also was handed out Saturday.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer awarded Ritenauer Run Scholarships to Hanna Hilko, Marlena LaBoy, Julia Gott, Azaria Blair and Brian Lamont.

Other scholarships that were awarded: Vance Cheers, 100 Men of Lorain County and Massey Family scholarships; Snycere Rogers, Washington and Gentlemen of the Same Mind Mentorship Program scholarships; Madajia King Lorain Club of Negro Business and Professional Women Scholarship; Hanna Hilko, DuVall Scholarship; Taylor Hooks, Janie B. Jeter Scholarship; and Kiliyah Mair, Nicholson Scholarship.

Lorain received its charter in 1975. The Lorain Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club aims to support women and encourage education. The national organization was founded in 1935.

Contact Laina Yost at 329-7121 or

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