Wicomico NAACP hosts Freedom Fund Banquet, expanding footprint in community


SALISBURY, Md. – “What I got today, it’s for all the rest of the leaders that have been struggling and working hard to make our community better,” Honoree and Executive Director of Rebirth Inc. Habacuc Petion said.

Together Towards Tomorrow was the theme of the day, as the Wicomico County NAACP’s Freedom Fund Banquet made its return Saturday.

The event serves as the local chapter’s biggest fundraising effort of the year. “The first thing that we can do with raising funds is to be able to put back into our community,” Wicomico NAACP President Amanda Hopkins said.

Over 250 attendees filled the seats in Salisbury University’s banquet hall including chapter members, city officials, and local organizations.

Yet, the focus was on this year’s honorees who’ve made a lasting impact in the community. “We’ve been working in our community for over 20 years. So I think this recognition is definitely a motivation piece that’s going to keep me going,” Petion said.

Wicomico County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Hanlin was also one of the honorees. ” I lived and experienced some of the challenges in the community that have been present over the course of my life time,” Dr. Hanlin said. “We’re working together. You know its clich√© to say it takes a village but it really does. It really does take a village.”

Chapter President Amanda Hopkins says she’s looking to take the branch in a new direction, including building connections with new partners.

She adds, the growing support for the Freedom Fund is only a glimpse of what’s to come. “I’m hopeful that even next year our freedom fund will be bigger but I don’t want to just stop with the freedom fund. I want to continue doing the work that needs to be done in the community,” Hopkins said.

“Everyone needs to be represented and not just Black people. White people, Asian people, Mexican people, Haitian people. Because what effects one of us, effects all of us.”

Other Freedom Fund honorees included Dr. Richard Warren and Salisbury University President Dr. Charles Wight.

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