By Terrica Hendrix
4 Nashville Arkansas Community will host an event honoring local community servants Saturday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Nashville Elementary School cafeteria.
4NAC “is a non-profit organization that I started because of my role and involvement in the New Boston/Texarkana areas,” Kissy Pryor said.
“Being on the Board of Directors for New Boston, Texas, Chamber and an ambassador on the Texarkana Chamber, I felt compelled to do something in my own community. With this in mind, I had vision of paying tribute/homage to some worthy citizens of the Nashville community who have since been referred to as ‘Legends.’ To further carry out the ideas and concepts of the initial vision, a committee was formed to organize Nashville’s Annual Legends Ball.”
This committee consists of Shamara Benson, Annette Witherspoon-Smith, Sherese Williams-Phillips and Pryor.
“Once formed, the team got to work almost immediately with hopes of seeing all of our hard come into full fruition on Oct. 28. On that night we will present to the community, ‘A Walk Among Legends’ Ball,” Pryor said.
From its conception to its launch, it had been “our desire to utilize the First Baptist Church of Nashville’s beautiful edifice as the event site. But when we later learned that a misappropriation of intentions and ideas led the church’s leadership board into a different direction, our plans had to change and fast. Additionally, we figured it was imperative that we used that time to publicly apologize to the church for any negative light that we may have inadvertently brought to it. It’s always been the 4NAC committee’s desire to breed nothing but positivity and progression to all associating entities,” Pryor said.
“So again, we express our deepest apologies to the First Baptist Church of Nashville for producing anything that possibly portrayed us having other intentions. Realizing that we couldn’t let this keep us from completing our mission, we kept pushing and we were able to secure another venue within the next week. Doug Graham, our childhood principal, allowed us to reserve the Nashville Elementary School,” Pryor said.
The committee heavily depended on, encouraged, and promoted community involvement in preparation for awarding each leader. Each winner will be determined by way of a 10 category voter’s ballot made up of the public’s idea of who should be honored.
Despite the truth that every individual being recognized deserves all of the recognition they’re receiving, there are a few who deserve just a bit more than a pat on the back, according to Pryor. Those individuals who fit that description are the humanitarian award honorees or the “fab five.”
Those individuals are Edna Benson (honorary), Rev. Willie “Chief” Benson, Pastor Rose Mary Scoggins-Whitmore, Gynder Benson, Juanisha and Jamar Finley.
The committee accepted public voting for the following categories: Role Model, Future Legend, Lifetime Achievement, Living Legends, Hidden Figure, Golden Apple, Entrepreneur, Black Diamond, Stellar Success, and Hero.
The committee did a hand count for each vote rendered using both Facebook poll votes and paper ballots.
The names of these nominees were then posted and shared on Facebook, as well as a letter of recognition sent by mail to each recipient nominated. The nominees were chosen using the top names for each category voted for by way of community support and commendation.
Winners will be announced during the event on Oct. 28.
“On the night of the event, we’ll kick everything off at 6 p.m. with Red Carpet photos and refreshment, followed by the award recognition ceremony and dinner at 7 p.m.,” Pryor said.
Tickets to this formal event are priced at $20/individual or $150 per table. Children four years of age and under are allowed free admittance.
Tickets may be purchased in person, or online at eventbrite. Eventbrite is also being used for booklet sales and event sponsorship.
“If you would like to advertise your business, show love to a family member, or congratulate an honoree, you may purchase a space in the booklet. The size of this space can vary depending on package choice. There’s a full page space, half page space, or business card space,” Pryor said.
For further detail on the souvenir booklets contact Sherese Phillips.
Through this event, 4NAC will fund a $500 scholarship for a Nashville 2018 graduate. For more information about the event, contact one of the committee members by phone or in person, or visit the 4 Nashville Arkansas Community FB page.
“We understand that there are many other individuals who are considered leaders throughout the community, but maybe this will stimulate more growth and development within the community to allow recognition for those people during the next event,” Pryor said.
“This event would not be possible without the leadership and love from the committee members, as well as our MC/Moderator, Michael Benson.”