NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Branch NAACP will honor five community leaders Friday during its annual Freedom Fund Dinner.
The organization’s annual awards dinner will take place at the St. George Hellenic Center, 301 W. Main St. A reception will begin at 5:20 p.m. followed by a dinner program at 6:30 p.m. Leslie Mayes, a reporter for WVIT-TV, will be the emcee.
“We always recognize people in the community, especially the African American community, that are doing things that should be noted,” said New Britain Branch NAACP President Ron Davis, while noting that not everyone honored is necessarily African American, they just have a positive impact on the community.
The following people will be honored:
n Zulma R. Toro will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Toro is the 13th president of Central Connecticut State University and is the school’s first female president and first Hispanic chief executive.
nViolet Jiménez Sims will receive the Community Business and Economic Development Award. Jimenez Sims was recently elected to the city’s Board of Education.
n George Springer III will receive the Social Justice Award. An outfielder for the Houston Astros, Springer was recently crowned the 2017 World Series MVP and is a New Britain native. Springer is not being honored for his baseball prowess, though.
“We’re honoring George for the work he’s been doing with the Stuttering Foundation,” Davis said, explaining the importance of Springer’s work off the field.
Davis said the NAACP was planning to honor Springer even before his World Series bid.
nDevon Tanksley will receive the Tomorrow Youth Leadership Award.
nLaTonya Brown-Thompson will receive the John P. Shaw Community Service Award.
Tickets are priced at $75. College students and people 18 and under can pay $40.
Each ticket includes a year’s membership to the NAACP. Tickets can be bought by calling Davis at 860-944-1237.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Skyler Frazer on Twitter @SFrazerNBH.