Vol. 1, Issue 1 JANUARY 2019 KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE MONTHLY WITH THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN SHELBY COUNTY, TN LETTER FROM THE EDITOR By Yvonne D. Nelson, Ph.D. Fifteen years ago, on Thursday, January 8, 2004, I accepted the title of Editor and challenged myself to successfully promote a new print concept developed by The Commercial Appeal called the Whitehaven Appeal. Initially, the Whitehaven Appeal was an insert that was placed in The Commercial Appeal newspapers that were delivered to homes in ZIP Codes 38109 and 38116. In creating this online newsmagazine, it is my goal to once again provide you with this type of positive news. I understand that communication is key to everything, so I want to grow an online audience and be the first place to look when you want to find out what is or has happened in Whitehaven and other communities in Shelby County, Tennessee. Of course all of this depends on you. Your readership, your ability to share online links to featured stories about you to create new viewers like yourself, your willingness to submit calendar events that are scheduled to happen as well as pictures and stories about things which have recently taken place, and your desire to support us through advertisements featuring local businesses and activities. This newsletter is for you and about you and the things you know about that are happening in your communities. I am asking you to consider contributing items of interest and concern to you. I am depending on you to make sure I have accurate meeting dates and fresh content for each monthly NEWSCENE edition. Call me at 901-300-0250, write me at I Love Shelby County, Attn: Senior Publicist, P.O. Box 9146, Memphis, TN 38190-0146, or email Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. I definitely want to hear from you soon! Thank you, Yvonne The Orchard Church member, David Cole (far right), manned the check-in table for parents at the Ross Toy Store event held December 8, 2018. In December 2016, the Orchard Church purchased a building at 3690 S. Houston Levee Road in Collierville, TN, and began holding worship services for the community. The church is dedicated to reaching up in ministry to God, branching out to the community of Memphis, and in being a church with deep roots that provide stability where people can freely fellowship with one another and lives can grow together. In addition to the many other services provided in the community, the congregation adopted the nearby Ross Road Elementary School in 2011. “We want to be a blessing to the City of Memphis, said Lead Pastor Sam Shaw, Ph.D.” It all began by a chance meeting with the Principal of Ross Road Elementary School. Since that time, we’ve painted parts of the school, we provide tutoring to 2nd graders through the Arise2Read program, and feed approximately 80 students every weekend.” For the fourth year in a row, The Orchard Church partnered with the school “to make Christmas a little merrier for the children and families” it serves. “The Ross Toy Store is a partnership between The Orchard Church and the school and offers parents of children who attend Ross Elementary the opportunity to shop for new toys and gifts at very deep discounts,” said The Orchard Church Teaching Pastor/Communications Director Brian Walters. “The items for sale in the store are purchased and donated by members of [The Orchard Church]. Families connected with Ross are invited to shop for things like dolls, board games, and bicycles at significantly lower prices. Church members organize, supply, and staff the store under the authority of school principal Evette Smith and Assistant Principal, Dr. Wakima Tutwiler. All the money from the sale is donated to the school.” Continued on Page 2 THE ORCHARD CHURCH SPREADS HOLIDAY CHEER

“This is a wonderful way to serve the parents and make a difference in the lives of the students and in the community,” said Pastor Shaw. “The Orchard gets the joy of giving and the parents maintain the dignity of buying toys for their children. And, of course, the children are delighted and shown that they are loved in a tangible way. Mrs. Smith and her team are some of the finest leaders we know. The Orchard believes in what the teachers and administration at Ross are doing. We love them and want that love to be practical and tangible.” This type of partnership between churches and schools is something that is needed in all of Memphis’ communities. “If there is a need at Ross or in the surrounding community, we want to meet it,” said The Orchard Church Teaching and Staff Pastor John Nix. “We want to send a message of love and build bridges of hope with our brothers and sisters and demonstrate God’s love through our actions.” Orchard Church members enjoy Member Jim Howell takes a break volunteering at the annual event. since he had no security issues. The Orchard Church member Dee Owens (right) and Lead Pastor Sam Shaw greet parents as they arrive at the Ross Toy Store. Pictures from the 4th annual Ross Toy Store held 12/08/18 Workers Kim Parker and Angie Grossman (left) In the gym checking out parents were Liz Bean (left) and Holly Haynes The Sisney Family (from left) Jennifer, Christopher, Whitney, and Bridget volunteered this year. 2

The Orchard Church members Robbye and Danielle Chandler. Above: (Angie Grossman and Ryan Callahan were volunteers at this years’ event. Below (from left): Ross Road ES 4th Grade teacher LaRissa McGuire, Counselor Julia Cole, and Admin Coordinator Katika Davis. CL I CK BELOW TO VI S I T . . . Below: Phil Enzor and Dee Owens enjoyed helping at the store. Below: Mrs. Ruthe (Sam) Shaw Above: Ms. Emma Bennett 3

F i fty Year s La t e r . . . By Yvonne D. Nelson thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) each. The celebration ended with the cutting of the ribbon of the new The 24-hour Krystal restaurant located at 4395 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Whitehaven was originally constructed in 1968. The building was 50 years old and Krystal management believed renovation would not be the best route for renewing it or bringing it up-to-date, so the decision was made to rebuilt it. “We still love this community, the community has been great to us; we wanted to come back and rebuild,” said Krystal CEO Paul Macaluso. “We built this beautiful new prototype. It’s the first of its kind in Tennessee.” It took crews a total of 5 months to tear down the old building and rebuild the new one. The last new facility built prior to Whitehaven’s new location was in Cordova. Krystal has 19 locations in the area and over 100 restaurants in Tennessee. Prior to rebuilding, the 24-hour operation performed with about 25 or 30 employees. The new location has brought in many new jobs and literally increased that figure to close to 80. District Councilwoman Patrice J. Robinson and several members of the Greater Memphis Chamber were on hand for the festivities. “We want to thank (Krystal) for their investment of almost one million dollars in the Whitehaven area,” stated Councilwoman Robinson with a round of applause. “We are supporting all businesses in Whitehaven. We encourage (the children here) to ask your parent’s to bring you back and we’re going to ask for some coupons later!” After a brief introduction and history of the company, which started operations during the Great Depression Era in 1932, Macaluso turned the presentation over to Krystal Regional Vice President Phil Cole, who began by stating that Krystal had provided a grant worth $5k to the Whitehaven Elementary School band. Cole mentioned that he was a former Jackson State band member and that even though he recognizes the rivalry between Memphis State and Jackson State, he was impressed to see young people who were very involved and very focused on music. Cole went on to discuss the accomplishments of the Whitehaven team and couldn’t resist saying the new Whitehaven Krystal was “the best looking thing on the block right now” and encouraged those in attendance to “go back and tell McDonalds we’re here” to stay! In addition to longevity awards presented to employees Maggie Clem for 6 years and Joyce Nowlin for 32 years; employees Holly Smith, Arreon Young, and Ashley High each won Krystal Square Up Scholarships in the amount of two 4 restaurant that opened on Monday, November 26, 2018. The renovated restaurant is another step towards bringing more sit-down, dine-in eateries to the Whitehaven community. We hope this new addition to the Whitehaven community will inspire more sit-down type restaurants to locate nearby.

Above: Members of the Whitehaven Elementary School gather for a group picture after the ceremonies concluded. Below: The ribbon cutting was well attended by all including long-time Krystal employees Joyce Nowlin (left holding scissors) and Maggie Clem (to the right of Nowlin. According to Krystal employee Steven Hall of Huntsville, AL, The first 100 customers had already visited the restaurant for their free meal for the month coupon by 7:30 AM that morning. 5

(Left) Nicholas Bennett, 10, is a fifth-grade student at Whitehaven Elementary School where Tommy Elliott is Principal. Nicholas says he enjoys playing the snare drum in the school’s Drum Line and Choir. After performing at the ceremonies, Nicholas, who also sings tenor, grabbed his free bag of Krystal and a bottle of water for lunch. Above: Krystal employee Destini Garrett enjoys being a crew member at the newly constructed Krystal restaurant in Whitehaven. Above: Krystal employee Terrnisha Myers, a crew member at the recently opened Krystal restaurant in Whitehaven prepares a beverage for a customer. Above: Krystal CEO, Paul Macaluso (left), was on hand at Thursday’s event providing free lunches for Whitehaven Elementary School (WES) student performers, Square Up Scholarships and longevity awards to Krystal employees, and he presented a check to WES Principal Tommy Elliott and the WES Student Council. 6

Members of the Whitehaven Elementary School Drum Line and Choir were treated to lunch after performing during the grand opening ceremony held November 29th. (Above: Danielle Williams is one of more than 50 new crew members hired by Krystal in Whitehaven. Whitehaven resident Tony Wright (far right) and his family, wife Kim (center) and son Rashaun (left) show their supporter of Krystal and it’s recent investment in the community during the Grand Reopening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held from 10 AM—2 PM November 29th. 7

12-year Crew Trainer Tommie Lomax of Columbia, GA Krystal Crew Member Steven Hall of Phil Cole, Regional Vice President Huntsville, AL 8 DISTRICT 3 COUNICWOMAN PATRICE J. ROBINSON


By Yvonne D. Nelson The Mitchell High School 2018 Alumni Association annual Christmas Gala for all classes was held from 6 PM until at the Holiday Inn Airport, 2240 Democrat Road, on Saturday, December 1, 2018. Over 200 alumni with Edith Deloach Mitchell, Diane Adair Coleman, and Doris Wrushen Bridges representing 1961, the first year the school had a graduating class, were in attendance. Identified by Roll Call, the majority of those in attendance were representing classes from 1964 through 1983, then there was a ten-year lapse, a small crowd of alumni from 1993, and one alumni from 2017. DJ “Will Walk,” Willie Walker of Walkers Sounds, kept the music and the crowd upbeat and on their feet from beginning to end. “As you can see, we really need to recapture the younger crowd,” said Marvin Hill, Class of ’76 graduate and Membership Committee Chairperson. Alumni Association President Linda Street opened the ceremony, welcomed all in attendance, and wished them a great time at this year’s event. She thanked everyone for their individual support and gave special recognition to Executive Board members Brenda Crawford, VP; Gwen Wrushen Nelson, Treasurer; Elgie Williams Barfield, Assistant Treasurer; Pam Hibler; Correspondence Secretary; and Callie Britton, Secretary. Rev. Troy Carson gave the prayer. “Our goal for existing is to increase alumni membership and participation in the organization, said Street. “We currently have 161 members who are all focused on raising money for Mitchell High students. Our goal this year is to raise $20 thousand dollars. We need money for ACT Test Prep. These students are our future and, although they don’t ask for it, they need our help.” The association has several events planned in 2019 to raise funds. “We are going to hold a 5-K run on April 13th, said Street. “Where is Torey Roberts? Tori is a marathon runner and she recently won first place in the Sugar Race for Diabetes on November 10th. She’s going to help us organize a 5-K run on April 13th, which will probably be held in conjunction with A Taste of Walker Homes/West Junction, a fundraiser and pot luck featuring vendors. Tori is the chair of the Alumni Board of Directors and she wears a lot of other hats too.” After dinner there was a brief period of dancing before the floor was turned over to President Street for the remainder of the program. “We need community input and you to become a more active part of our alumni association,” said Street after calming the crowd down after dinner. “There will be a public meeting following our regular 2nd Saturday meeting next 10 The 2018 Annual Christmas Gala for Mitchell High School Alumni featured music by DJ Willie “Will Walk” Walker of Walker Sounds. (Above) 1971 Alumni (from left) Charles Settle, Lajuana Beasley, Lethelea Jackson, Sandra Brooks, and Willie Brooks.

week. We will begin the alumni meeting at 10 AM and the public meeting will continue from 11:15 AM until Noon. The Center City Commission has commissioned an artist to paint a mural on the Community Center and we need the communities input on what that mural should represent.” “It’s nice to see other people in the community who care about the children at Mitchell High School,” said Street. “One such person who I personally witnessed providing food, clothes, shoes and more is Terry Applewhite. I want to recognize him with this plaque to let him know that he is greatly appreciated for what he does and continues to do for the students and community at large. Treasurer Gwen Wrushen Nelson followed with finan(Below left) Assistant Treasurer, Pam Hibler; (Below right) Alumni Event Chair, Elveen Street Carson. cial details on scholarships and other funding for Mitchell High. “In 2018, we gave 15 students $1,000 scholarships and we also provided the principal with another $5,000 to be earmarked for things the board does not cover like ACT Test Prep classes,” said Wrushen Nelson. “I want to again thank each of you for your continued support! In 2018, between July and November, we have raised $9,000 thousand towards our $20,000-thousand-dollar goal. Remember, we are a IRS recognized 501 (c) 3 organization; therefore, your donations are also tax-deductible. So if you need a deduction this year, just remember to make your contribution prior to December 31 for it to count! I have my receipt book in the back of the room with me. I can take checks, cash, even credit card and we also have pledge cards in the back for anyone who needs one.” “It’s giving time!” announced Ruth Murray, “We’ve been blessed. These children really need funds and we really need to give what we can afford to give to them. Whatever you can afford to give. We’ve done well but we want to and can do better if it’s from the heart. These young people are our future. We need to be able to raise that $20,000 thousand dollars to help the kids out in May 2019. They really don’t ask us. We know they need it.” (Above left) Treasurer, Gwen Wrushen Nelson. (Above Right) Couples took to the dance floor when DJ ‘Will Walk’ slowed down the sounds. (Right) Mitchell High School 1976 Alumnus and current Alumni Association President Linda Street makes a donation to the school fundraiser for current Mitchell students on Saturday night at the annual Christmas Gala. 11


By Yvonne D. Nelson There was a celebration of rebirth held at 2 PM on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, when the former long-ago closed Southbrook Mall reopened as Whitehaven’s new Southbrook Town Centre. Southbrook Properties, Inc. CEO Gregory Grant opened the event by thanking the city and county governments and everyone else who made the day happen. Pastor Ivory Jackson of Faith Temple Ministries GOCIC gave a prayer for the community and government leaders followed by a welcome by Southbrook Properties, Inc. President and Chairman Willie Harper. Vice Chairwoman Cherry Davis followed and Developer Belinda Tate and and Project Manager Michelle Moore gave the purpose of the event looking back on times when they and the facilities faithful former tenants could look through the roof and see the sky. CCMI entertained the crowd with a selection and Pastor Gary Faulkner of the Omni Church provided a prayer of blessings and prosperity for the renovated facility. Courtney Little sang “A Change is Gonna Come” on his Korg Triton music workstation synthesizer and Special Assistant to Mayor Jim Strickland, Kenneth Moody, gave the address for the City of Memphis along with Division of Housing and Community Development Director, Paul Young. Singer Toni Green was accompanied by a group of children doing a rendition of “Glory” just before Shelby County Mayor Attorney Lee Harris, gave the address from the county government. The event ended with an address from District 91 State Rep., Mrs. Barbara Cooper, Ph.D., closing remarks from Commissioner Eddie Jones, and a prayer of dedication and benediction by Pastor Dwayne Hunt of Abundant Grace Fellowship Church. City Councilwoman District 3 Patrice Robinson served as the events’ Mistress of Ceremony. A good time was had by all. We are glad this facility is open and happy to announce management is currently looking for tenants to rent its banquet facility and to occupy a few of its’ nicely renovated vacant rental spaces. 13



By Yvonne D. Nelson A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was performed by The Memphis Chamber, Boy, and Girl Choirs at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Memphis, TN from 4 to 5 PM CST on Sunday, December 9, 2018. The service of Nine Lessons with Carols was first drawn up by Archbishop Benson when Bishop of Truro for use in that cathedral, and was later simplified and modified for use in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in 1918 by then Dean, the Very Reverend Eric Milner-White, to whom also we owe the Bidding Prayer. The congregation of St. John’s Episcopal Church performed these services in hopes that attendees would find meaning and inspiration through the offerings of lessons and carols and welcomed all to prepare themselves in joyful anticipation of Christmastide. The nine lessons included the following: 1) Genesis 3:8-15 2) Isaiah 40: 1-5 3) Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 4) Isaiah 11: 1-9 5) Luke 1: 26-38 6) Luke 2: 1-7 7) Luke 2: 8-20 8) Matthew 2:1-11, and 9) John 1:1-14 The program began with a prelude of three songs, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Three Kings, and Prelude on ‘Irby.’ The organist was Brian Campbell who was accompanied by David Spencer and Ben Lewis on trumpet; Geoff Durbin and Eddie Clark on trombone, and Kevin Sanders on the tuba. After the processional hymn, a bidding prayer was read by St. John’s Deacon, The Rev. Miranda Cully Griffin. Carols were sung after the first, third, sixth, and eighth lessons. Hymns were performed after the second, fourth, and seventh lessons. A Motet from Luke 1:3032 was read after the fifth lesson and a carol-anthem, the offertory carol, and the collection and blessing preceded the postlude. The Rev. C. Dean Taylor is the Interim Rector and The Rev. Robert L. Van Doren Jr. is the Sr. Associate Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3245Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111, where the first service of the day begins at 8 AM CST with a small gathering for Eucharist on Sundays. After the 8 AM service concludes, the Altar Guild prepares the table for the next Eucharist. Sunday School begins at 9:15 AM and the Chancel Choir begins to sound at 9:30 AM as the choirmaster plays through the hymns of the day. For more information on the early morning preparations and order of services, visit St. John’s Episcopal Church online at www.stjohnsmemphis.org. 16


Alvin Crook (right) Christmas Toy Drive volunteers (from left) Jamal Whitlow, Amber Sherman, Michael Scruggs, LeMichael Wilson, Alex Bolton, and J.B. Smiley, Esq. (rear). (Below) Tyronda Henderson helped serve food at the event. (Above) Alvin Crooks mother, Lisa Stewart, prepares to give away gifts. (Below) Kristian Harrington and two-year old son, Jermeris. City of Memphis Parks and Recreation 4-year employee, Maria Mills (rear right), works with children at the annual Alvin Crook toy drive. 18

East Memphis resident and Tennessee Young Democrats member Alvin Crook (left) held his second annual Christmas Toy Giveaway at the McFarland Community Center on Saturday, December 15, 2018. The Gingerbread House entrance to the McFarland gym and large bounce slide were two of the many activities available for children attending the event. Eight-year old Scenic Hills Elementary School 3rd grade student, Ambria Smith, had fun playing on the bounce inside the gym. 19

Colonel Joe Oakley of the Mt. Moriah Precinct (left) and MLGW Residential Services employees Dorothea Moody and Charles White. By Yvonne D. Nelson Alvin Crook, a Fairley High School graduate, spent part of his life growing up in East Memphis and he really believes in giving back to the community. From 10 AM until noon on Saturday, December 15, 2018, the former McFarland Warriors basketball player was helped by his mother, wife, son, and several members of his family to host a Christmas Toy Giveaway to children residing in the area of the Mt. Moriah Police Station at the McFarland Community Center. “Last year I partnered with a friend of mine, Attorney J.B. Smiley, and we held a similar event at the Gaston Community Center last year,” said Crook. “This year I decided to do a toy giveaway on my own because I felt like the kids in the Parkway Village area needed someone to look out for them.” During the event, Crook gave out 205 gifts and Staffline, a temporary employment agency, helped 42 people with jobs. “It’s getting people back to work,” said Crook. “I understand that these are not $15/hour jobs, but some income is better than no income.” In addition to Col. Joe Oakley, Lt. H. Ward, and Officers G. Moore and A. Smith, MLGW residential services representatives Dorothea Moody and Charles White attended the event. “My mom has always been a big supporter of mine,” said Crook about his mom Lisa Stewart. “When it was time for us to give out gifts, my wife Andrea and son, Alvin IV, along with my sister Tyronda Henderson and my sister-in-law Ceidra Griffin passed out the gifts. Crook is also known for his “Taking Over the Park” feeding the Alvin Crook IV and his grandmother, Lisa Stewart. community at the park event where twice a year he takes 50 care bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, turkey sandwiches, chips, and water to the homeless. He also participated in the 2018 Chili Cook-Off in support of LeBonheur Children’s Hospital. Crook 20

made an unsuccessful run for the school board District 9 seat on the Shelby County School Board in 2018. “What really held me up from doing a lot of things in 2018 was due to my running for the school board,” said Crook. “Because I was really focused on running for that seat, that really put a damper on me as far as doing humanity-type work.” When asked what was on the calendar for 2019, Crook brighten up. “I’ll be back at the McFarland Community Center in March for the Alvin Crook March Madness,” said Crook. “This is my vision of a block party. I’m going to have more employers who can offer permanent jobs. I’m planning a car show, food trucks, and one or more bounces for the kids. I’m also in touch with Concourse College for those individuals who are interested in getting back in school to continue their education to get a better job. There will be free health checks and attorneys. I’m going to put a call out on my friends who are attorney’s. I want to have a segment where you ask the attorney. I think a lot of times the problem is that we get in trouble and we don’t know our rights. This is actually just setting a person up for failure. We need to know what we can ask and when we get in the courtroom, the proper paperwork to file to avoid simply taking a charge which sets you up to fail.” For more information on becoming a vendor or March Madness events, email AlvinCrook3rd@yahoo.com or visit Friends for Alvin Crook or Alvin Crook on FB. DJ II REEL McFarland Community Center’s Elanor’s Babies Dance Team Photo Courtesy Friends of Alvin Crook 21

By Yvonne D. Nelson The year was 1935 and the event was the Cotton Carnival, an event designed to promote the use and wearing of cotton products, that was, for all intents and purposes, for white people. Dr. R. Q. Venson, an African American dentist with an office on Beale Street at the time, took his nephew to the parade designed for whites only. After the event was over, Venson asked his nephew if he enjoyed the parade. Much to his surprise, Venson’s nephew had not enjoyed the event and demanded to understand why the only Blacks the parade displayed were serving as horses pulling carts carrying the carnivals’ white King, Queen, and Royal Court members. Venson saw the vision of his young nephew as one that openly displayed the highly segregated population of Memphis and the Mid-South. The result was the formation of the Cotton Makers’ Jubilee, a private social party for Blacks, which included a celebration featuring a King, Queen, Royal Court and a midway featuring entertainment including games and rides. The purpose of the celebration was to show appreciation of the many Blacks who had also contributed to Memphis’s cotton industry. With African American Funeral Director Eddie Hayes Jr. as King and Venson’s wife, Ethyl, as Queen the first Jubilee was held in 1936. The event was designed to allow Black people to uphold a tradition that has continued to maintain dignity for African Americans to this day. In its heyday, the event always opened during the same time as the Cotton Carnival, with a big parade that provided similar things Whites enjoyed at their parade. The event reached peak attendance during its golden years, 1948-58, and only ceased operations during World War II and in 1968 when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated here in Memphis, TN. Many developments, both good and not so good, have transpired since the 70s. Many of the Jubilee’s most treasured possessions, including pictures, costumes, and other memorabilia, were given to other organizations after Venson passed. Although a treasure trove of additional items exists, they have yet to find their own museum to call home; something the current organization has been attempting to achieve for the past 10 years. The last Cotton Makers’ Jubilee celebration was held in 2007, after another of Venson’s nephews and current Chairman Clyde R. Venson had taken over the organization. Clyde succeeded his aunt, R.Q.’s wife Ethyl in 1986. He worked diligently to make sure the name of the organization remained a household name. In 1999, he attempted to give the nonprofit a new identity, one that represented the strongest, most powerful, and richest country in the world for 2000 years – renaming it Kemet, the name of Egypt because the organization wanted to crown its royalty from a country that had Black Kings and Queens; but returned the organization to its original name in 2016 when the new name didn’t improve things after all. Michael Marsh was a Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Royal Court Jr. King in 1972, a Duke in 1983, and King in 1996. His true dedication to the organization showed as he transitioned into becoming Memphis Kemet Jubilee Royal Court King in 2005 and again in 2007. Continued on Page 23 22

“I’m so happy that we are pulling things together again in 2019,” said Marsh. “I was first sought out by Queen Ethyl Venson, Dr. R. Q. Venson’s wife. The year was 1971 and I was working at Robilio’s Grocery Store. The Cotton Makers’ Jubilee was and still is an amazing organization and I will never forget how becoming a part of the celebration at such a young age made me feel so important. I wish more of Memphis’s Black children could live the experience of being royalty for themselves. For me, early participation has resulted in my wanting to stay in this organization for life.” All 39 new members who had been recruited since June and their guests were invited to attend a celebration of renewal during the 2018 Christmas season. The event was held in the banquet room at the Southbrook Town Centre, the former Southbrook Mall. The program included a prayer by Elder Theoren Dotson and Marsh, who was recently voted in and accepted the Vice President’s role, gave the welcome. Queen Charlena Henderson Taylor, 2001, performed a solo and sang with CCMI – Breaking a Stronghold, Inc. featuring the G.E.M. Band who provided entertainment and music during the entire event. Newly elected President, 1997 King Lorenzo Caldwell gave the purpose for the gathering and provided valuable bits of the organization’s history and explained how he became involved. The organization’s newly elected Secretary, 2002 Queen Patricia Mosby, who served with the organization’s only White King to date, introduced the new membership body with the assistance of Mary Fairley of Crown Trophy Cordova, 7981 Dexter Road, Ste. 104. Fairley provided the program printing and personally honored each 2019 member with a special medallion her company created. “I’ve always thought it was an honor to be elected as Queen,” said Mosby as she received her medallion. “A good friend of mine, Johnson Saulsberry encouraged me to join and I’ve been engaged in one way or another ever since.” New member and newly elected Treasurer Gerald Green was also appreciative of his medal. Filling in for the ever busy newly elected Finance Chair and 1994 King, Gregory Grant, was his lovely wife, 1994 Queen Annette Harris who is now known as Annette Harris Grant. Dr. R. Q. Venson’s nephew, Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Chairman and 1966 King Clyde R. Venson provided all in attendance with a brief update on the rebirth of the organization and the events planned for 2019. “We have set the date for the coronation ball for September 14th and the Dr. R. Q. Venson Scholarship Foundation’s Scholarship and Award banquet will follow on the 28th, said the younger Venson. “This Christmas party for our guests to witness this program reactivation was our first public program since 2007. We are truly excited about the future programs we have in store for 2019. We will be hosting a mini -celebration for our Adult and Junior King and Queens the 2nd Saturday in September and honoring our scholarship and awards recipients on the 4th Saturday. We would like for our Royal Court to visit LeBonheur Children’s and the Veteran’s Hospital to take pictures with and provide gifts for patients. We hope to be able to work things out so that those who are unable to attend our presentation will be able to listen to and watch it on the closed circuit TVs in their rooms.” Continued on Page 24 23

President for 14 years, 1989 King and Dr. R. Q Venson Scholarship Foundation President Michael Sadler is looking for one or more locally situated active or retired educators to speak at the scholarship and awards banquet. “If I had things my way and I’ve already inquired, I would prefer to have former 1st Lady Michelle Obama as the speaker of choice that night,” said Sadler. “We have solidified our location (Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard), date, and time (9/28/19 with the reception at 6 followed by dinner and program at 7). We are hoping to provide three local graduating seniors with scholarship money that will be of assistance during their first year of college. I gladly accepted this challenge to lead this leg of the Cotton Makers’ Jubilee because my heart is in education and because I want to be of assistance in finding that perfect location for our Memphis Cotton Makers’ Jubilee Museum.” To be put on the list of interested parties to become a member, be elected as a member of the 2019 Royal Court, apply for a scholarship or award, or for more information, call 901.496.1811 or email MCMJUBILEE@gmail.com. 24


Barbara Swearengen Ware (left) presents Jenny V. Currington, a nurse on LTACH team at Regional One Health with the Outstanding Service Award for Mission Possible Charter Board Member Eddie Nelms’ care. Mission Possible: Christian Outreach Service Mission (MP:COSM) kicked off its 39th annual fundraiser to help the least among us as the organization makes plans to celebrate 40 years in 2020. Mission Possible serves the elderly, hurting, homeless and hungry; widows, and those who are fatherless, oppressed, prisoners, sick, and broken-hearted. The agency needs your help to continue its efforts to provide food, clothes, counseling services, prayer support, and training and there’s more than one way for you to support this tax-deductible nonprofit organization. MP:COSM founder Thelma Nelms is a former US Postal Service employee who worked as an EEO counselor and retired as a Workplace Improvement Analysis. She knows the pain of discrimination and workplace violence and is skilled at helping others to find triumph and victory in life. However, from inside the walls of the USPS, Nelms was limited on what she could do to help people. Mission Possible was born from the issues that did not fall under the purviews of EEO discrimination. After Nelms and a group of her federal co-workers prayed for relief and aid to help in these situations, and thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in 1980 this Christian-based outreach program was born. When Nelms was questioned about her inspiration for creating Mission Possible, she replied, “I can remember the joy I felt when my family and I received Christmas baskets sponsored by the Elks. Generosity has a positive mental effect on those who share, even if only a small amount of their wealth, with others. Fifty years ago, I never thought that a little girl growing up in poverty would be able to give back. It’s amazing how the Lord’s favor has been present in my life and in the fertile soil of Mission Possible.” Centrally located at 2400 Poplar Avenue, Ste. 428, MP: COSM is easily accessible by public transportation for those who need services. The Poplar Avenue offices of Mission Possible: COSM can be used as a host space for special events, meetings, and retreats with approved reservations. “We provide guidance, counseling, basic life coaching, and (Above) Outstanding Supporters (from left) James and Ann Word, Carolyn and Henry Ware, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, and Dr. Leroy Davis, Chaplain at 201 Poplar, were honored by Mission Possible: COSM founder Thelma Nelms, former President of Federally Employed Women at the event. (Below) Nelms’ also honored Outstanding Supporters (seated from left) Richard Baxter and Jimmie Leach of Miss Girlee’s Restaurant; (standing), Pastor Barbara Green and Aaron Leach (Right). training for the poor and affluent through seminars and retreats focusing on workplace and family issues,” added Nelms who has recently added anger management and violence prevention trainings. “We’re currently totaling our final numbers for 2018, but we provided over 9,000 services in 2017 although, due to reduced funding and volunteerism, we may fall a little short in 2018. We are praying for additional funding and volunteers so that our services can continue being a blessing to the community.” Nelms’ long list of accomplishments includes USPS accolades, giving seminar presentations, sipping tea with 1st Lady Barbara Bush, personally meeting Wilma Rudolph, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Height, founder of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and many local national leaders including Bishop G.E. Patterson and Dr. Herbert W. Brewster. Mission Possible: COSM accepts all major credit cards, checks and money orders (payable to Mission Possible: COSM) for tax-deductible donations and encourages federal employees to select them by visiting msdeltacfc.org and/or selecting CFC #64098 through their Workplace Donor Choice program before January 8, 2019. Non-federal employees can select the agency through the United Way Donor Choice Program. No services are available for housing or utility assistance and hours are by appointment only. Call (901) 458-4357 (HELP) for more information. 26

IN HONOR OF HER MANY YEARS OF SERVICE... Mission Possible: Christian Outreach Service Mission Phone: (901) 458-4357 (HELP) MRS. PEARLIE STREET, PRESIDENT 2018 Fall Fundraiser Program Sunday, December 2, 2019 Martin Luther King Labor Center, 485 Beale Street, Memphis, TN CL I CK HERE TO . . . OR CL I CK HERE TO. . . VOLUNTEER IN HONOR OF HIS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE... MR. JAMES JONES, BOARD CHAIRMAN Attending the event (from left) are Love Worth Finding (Bellevue Baptist) CEO Pastor Carey Vaughn, Liberty Mass Church Pastor Brad Denham, Sgt. Martin Butcher, Dr. Leroy Davis, Nelms, Progressive Baptist Church Pastor Dr. James Collins, Sheriff Floyd Bonner, Board member Barbara Swearengen Ware, Elder Aaron Leach, Board Member Archie Green and Bethel AME Pastor Barbara Green. Sheriff Floyd Bonner honored the Hunter family for the heroic death of Marlon Hunter who was killed helping a distressed driver. Pictured are (seated) Nivea Hunter (daughter), Ralisa Hunter (wife), Jade Moore, Sheila McKinney, Dr. Shirley Flynod (grandmother), and (standing) Keith Kimbrough, Chiquita Kimbrough, Cherith McKinney, and Mission Possible founder, Thelma Nelms. 27

THE NATIONAL COUNC I L OF NEGRO WOMEN – SHELBY COUNTY SECT ION Where Myrtle Malone is President and Carla E. Holloway, Ed.D., (both not pictured) is 1st Vice President - Fashion Show Coordinator and (from left) Fashion Show Committee Chair, Tamara Washington-Bell, and fashion show participants Brinetta Carlton, Florida Hollingsworth, Catherine Doggett Hernandez, Stella Adams, and Fashion Show Committee Co-Chair Annette Washington, invites you to join them for “GOING GREEN IN 2019” the BEST DRESSED FASHION SHOW AND BRUNCH, MARKETPLACE, and AUCTION. The event will be held from 10 AM - 2 PM CST on SATURDAY, JANUARY 26, 2019, at the MEMPHIS HILTON, 939 RIDGE LAKE BOULEVARD, MEMPHIS, TN 38120. The event will benefit the Council’s YOUTH SECTION, GIRLS INTENDED FOR GREATNESS, ACT WORKSHOP and health fair. The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), founded in 1935, is a domestic public service organization with the primary goal of providing services and programs to promote human welfare. This annual Shelby County Section affair is an initiative of the local Council designed to spotlight fashionable Memphian ladies who are representing various agencies and organizations. Tickets are sold individually for $40/person and in tables of 10 for $400. Vendor booths are $50/table (Deadline to purchase booths/tables is the COB on Saturday, January 19, 2019). Purchases qualify purchaser for a door prize drawing and the community is encouraged to place ads in the event’s souvenir booklet in support of these ladies and/or to make a donation to the Council’s scholarship fund. For further information, to purchase ticket(s) for admission or for information on becoming a vendor, please address your correspondence to President, Myrtle Malone, or 1st Vice President - Fashion Show Coordinator, Carla E. Holloway, Ed.D., or Vendor Chairperson, Joan Harvey, and email to Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com. This advertisement was purchased by contestant Mrs. Catherine Doggett Hernandez in support of Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson, Senior Publicist of NEWSCENE, the NEW SCENE where NEWS is SEEN which can only be found online at iLoveShelbyCounty.com! 28

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By Yvonne D. Nelson Kandris Echols has always had a love for performing arts and dance. From Double Tree Elementary to Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 60 S. Parkway E., to owning her own studio, Kandris’s family always knew of her desire to be involved in drama and performing arts. “Kandris has performed in dance teams since she was 4-years old,” said Patricia Woodard Wright, Kandris’ aunt, and Rhythm and Grace Rewriter. “We have always supported Kandris dance efforts and we always will.” Echols teaches beginners gymnastics, majorette, hip-hop, liturgical (praise dance) and jazz dance to girls of all ages. Her dance teams have been in many parades and have won many competitions. She recently rented space at the newly renovated Southbrook Town Center and relocated the Rhythm and Grace Dance Studio there where she is the owner and dance choreographer. Echols presented “The Wiz of Christmas Land,” a 10-scene musical dance production Saturday evening December 29th at the Landers Center Theatre in Southaven, MS. The production was Echols way of giving honor to the hard work her dancers have learned and a way to give them the opportunity to share the skills they have acquired from attending her school with their friends and family members. “Our goal is to reach out to help children who are interested in dance The musical dance production featured a liturgical performance by Victoria Ayers (above) and a song by Erica McGowen (below). and performing arts,” said Wright. “We had current elementary and former dance students who returned from their middle and high school dance teams to perform in the play. One thing I love about our performers is that size never matters. We work with everyone who wants to learn to dance.” Rounding out the Rhythm and Grace Dance team are Echols’ first cousins and Music Directors, Darius Woodard and Christopher Woodard; and Devin Hardin who Kandris knows from being a member of Mt. Zion. “We are currently accepting applications for new students,” said Wright. “We do charge students a small amount to help cover overhead, buy uniforms, and costumes, but most of the money we make goes right back into the production.” Parents who are interested in enrolling children for dance and performing arts at Rhythmand Grace are encouraged to drop by between 6 - 8 PM Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays during open hours and can download an application for admission below, stop by the Southbrook Town Mall office, or call (901) 282-9872 or (901) 230-6373 to drop application off or for more information. APPLICATION (Right) Erin Gordon, (from left) Daja Bryant, Marrisa Golden, Karlee Thomas, Kennedi Bond, Jourmenie Rockmore, Kailey Bond, Harmony Jamison, Mallory Harmon, Mackenzie Lyndon, and Reylann Huley were Elves in the play. Photograph by Kandris Echols. 30

(From left) Mallory Harmon, Erin Gordon, and Harmon Jamison were Christmas Elves in The Wiz of Christmas Land drama. Felicity Gwinn, played the part of the Scarecrow. Photograph by Kandris Echols. (From left) Trinity Taylor (The Tin Lady), Felicity Gwinn (The Scarecrow), and Pasley Thompson (Dorothy) meet Payge Lewis (the Cowardly Lion) on their way to see the Wiz. (Below) Kaitlyn James, Lauren Knowles, Demaya Knowles, Breya Young, Brenasia Polk were the Monkeys in the play. Photograph by Patricia Woodard Wright. 31

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Beginning with the 2019 we will present a contin every month, each two pag history of MEMPHIS COT Please remember to SUB ensure you’ll receive eve mailbox as soon a CLICK H Sign up for the FREE m Left: Memphis Cotton Makers’ Ju (from right) and Queen Irene Da porter, nightclub comedian, sing philanthropist Danny Thomas (c Jones Venson as William Christo standing) watches. Below: 1940 Henderson and Queen Vanilla Sp ers’ Jubilee contestants float at t tom Right: (From left) 1972 Kin Georgette Robinson (no relation “B.B.” King (center), and 1966 K Clyde R. Venson. CLICK HERE fo 34

9 editions of NEWSCENE, inuous series of articles ges in length, detailing the TTON MAKERS’ JUBILEE. BSCRIBE to NEWSCENE to ery month’s issue in your as it is published! HERE TO monthly NEWSCENE! Jubilee 1958 King Edward Gray Davis; Left Bottom: Jubilee supger, actor, producer, and (center) having fun with Pamela opher (W.C.) Handy (right 0 King Professor George W. Spears. Top Right: Cotton Makthe Grand MCMJ carnival. Botng John Robinson and Queen nship), King of the Blues, Riley King and MCMJ Chairman, or an application to join MCMJ. 35

Advertise Your Business or Promote Your Event Free Calendar Listings and 25% OFF Your Ad through February 1, 2019 Thank you for subscribing to our first NEWSCENE publication. We are the NEW SCENE where NEWS is SEEN! We hope you enjoyed the stories about and the pictures taken at events we visited last month. We are looking forward to sharing more pictures and stories with you next month about the many events taking place this month. As you know, we can’t be at more than one event at a time, but we are here to assist you to get your events online, in our calendar, and in print. Don’t forget you can click on the links that are included to visit websites, blogs, Facebook pages and more! We want to be the first place you look to learn about the things happening in your community, but we won’t know about what’s happening unless you tell us. Write to us at Memphis.Meetings@gmail.com or call (901) 300-0250 to leave us a message. We promise to return your call in a timely fashion. NEWSCENE . . . ...is currently seeking ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS and passionate and outgoing volunteer photojournalists who can write stories and take pictures at local events. Interested persons should phone (901) 300-0250 for details. 36

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