The South Lake Black Achievers recently hosted its 22nd annual awards banquet at the Lake Receptions building in Mount Dora.
The event was held to recognize people in the community who have achieved great success in their careers.
“We have gathered each year since 1992 to commend and honor the men and women who, through their tireless efforts, talents and dedication, have made their mark in society,” said a message from the South Lake Black Achievers Committee on its website. “The South Lake Black Achievers Committee continues to strive at ‘Keeping Alive Our Heritage’ and encourage us to all strive for excellence!”
To encourage excellence throughout the community, the committee each year recognizes people who exemplify its vision. This year, 13 recipients in 11 categories were recognized:
Law Enforcement: Sophia Threat, a law enforcement/corrections officer with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Service: Roger Pace, owner of PaceLogics Computer Graphics and Repair Company in Clermont
Military: Glenn Rodgers, a serviceman with the U.S. Navy, working with the Aviation Support Equipment Department
Para Professional: Regina Penny, the school secretary at Cecil E. Gray Middle School
Business Administration: Hattie McGriff with Orlando Health
Music/Entertainment: Thomas R. Ware Jr., the CEO of Ripple Effect, a not-for-profit organization mentoring inner city youth employed by Wareboyz Musik Publishing/Warner Brother Records/Premier Tracks of L.A.
Medical: Cassandra Allen, Med Tech certified nurses assistant at Oak Park in Clermont
Business: Owner Vincent Maxwell, a self-employed businessman who works for Genesis Transportation
Sabrina Gwynn Outstanding Youth Award: Matt Hoisington, Ashley Johnson and Torrie McGriff, recent college graduates
Humanitarian: Gift of Love Foundation out of Groveland/Stuckey, a community outreach that helps families and children in need; Latoria Wilson-Robinson, recipient
Heritage Award: The Parker Family of Clermont, which came to the area in 1919, headed by Pearl “Mama” Parker of Brooksville, a single mother of seven children and local restuarant/hotel chef and businesswoman most known for her roasted peanuts. Recipient, Joyce Freeman, 83, her last living child.
Though award recipients were
not required to live in south Lake County now, they had to have lived in there for 10 years or more at one time, made a big impression on the community or a combination of both, said Lucressie McGriff, the committee’s ticket chairperson and treasurer.
Allen said receiving the award and recognition is an honor.
“I try to give it my all when I’m at work, so it feels good to be recognized,” she said.