DENMARK — Upsilon Rho Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. recently held its 7th annual Finer Womanhood Awards and Scholarship Luncheon at Voorhees College in Denmark. The purpose of the program was to honor the memory of founding Zeta members with community and service awards.
Shemeka Burton presented Demmie Raysor and Perry D. Mills with the Arizona Cleaver Stemmons Leadership Award. Stemmons was credited with chartering numerous Zeta undergraduate and graduate chapters throughout the U.S.
Raysor is from Bamberg and has a passion for children. She works part-time for Bamberg School District One. Raysor said she strives to live by the words: “No woman stands so tall as when she stoops to help a child.”
Mills is a native of Darlington and currently lives in Columbia. A military veteran, he is currently completing his doctoral dissertation in school leadership.
Gloria Brown presented Carolyn Davis and Nannie Manigault with the Myrtle Tyler Education Award. Davis teaches eighth-grade English Language Arts at Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School and has previously taught on several other grade levels. She believes: “If I can help somebody as I travel this way, my living shall not be in vain.”
Manigault is a retired teacher who began her teaching career in Westmoreland County, Va. and retired in 1998 in Washington, D.C. After retirement, she mentored for another five years. Manigault continues to mentor her nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also a life member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.
Sonia Taylor presented Terence V. McMillan and Larry Haynes with the Viola Tyler Community Service Awards. Viola Tyler Goings graduated from Howard University and taught school in Ohio for many years.
McMillan is a 1986 graduate of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High, has been employed with the state Department of Juvenile Justice and is currently employed with the Department of Social Services as the economic services program coordinator for Bamberg County.
Haynes, who retired from the plumbing industry in New York, currently serves the Bamberg County community as a council member.
“I do not mind going above and beyond the call of duty in order to get the job done,” he said.
Sharon Manigault presented Wanda Grimes and Miriam James with the Pearl Anne Neal Music and Art Award. Neal was one of the first black women in New York to earn a master’s degree in music from Columbia University.
In addition to being very involved in the community and church, Grimes is a family and consumer career and technology education teacher and advisor of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School.
James, who has taught art education for more than 30 years, said, “I have been a strong advocate of the arts and my community for years.”
She is currently employed at Orangeburg Consolidated School District Three’s Holly Hill Elementary School as an art teacher.
Josephine Duncan presented Emily Johnson with the Fannie Pettie Social Justice Award. Pettie was credited with organizing two additional Zeta chapters and held active membership in Delta Alpha Zeta Chapter.
Johnson cites her strongest passion as her drive for working with children. She is a guidance counselor in Lee County and serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Counselor Education at South Carolina State University.
Wilhelmenia Jefferson presented Lynn Shaw with the Zora Neale Hurston Phenomenal Woman Award. Hurston is considered one of the preeminent writers of 20th-century African-American literature.
Shaw, who has more than 30 years in education, said, “My working life has been with children, and I enjoy working and watching them transition from one stage of life to another.”