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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, December 25, 2008, Image 1

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THURSDAY, December 25, 2008 Piggott making good impressions -See Page Bl Homeless effort marks successes -See Page A12 Toys provided for local families -See Page B4 75 cents : 34 ? ? *?? * Ministers elect new president Eversley has been one of group's most outspoken members BY LAYLA FARMER THE CHRONICLE The Rev. Dr. Carlton Eversley, pastor of Dellabrook Presbyterian Church, has been elected president of the Ministers Conference of Winston Salem and Vicinity, the oldest and largest predomi n a n t 1 y black ecu menical clergy organiza 1 1 ? tion in EvmU> Forsyth County. He will take office Jan. 13. Eversley, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., has been an active member of the Conference since he moved to Winston-Salem more than two decades ago. The Conference is one of the pre miere organizations in the local landscape, he believes. "I think the Ministers Conference, reflective of the role of the black church in any black community, is a central organization," he said. >jWe are one of the few voices that's not beholden to white institutions; we can feel free to criticize whoev er." Eversley will succeed Dr. Linda Beal, who made histo ry in 2007, when she became the first female president of the Ministers Conference in its more than 70-year history. "I think it's wonderful," Beal said of his election. "He can take the Conference to another level." Eversley previously served under Beal as first vice president of the organi zation. Beal believes he is well prepared for the job. f'Carlton has been on the forefront of education... he promotes a lot of justice and equality not just for our (African American) students, See Eversley on A4 Photos by Garrett Garms/WSSU An excited graduate celebrates during last week's ceremony at the Joel Coliseum. Grads get early gifts: Their Degrees BY LAYLA FARMER THE CHRONICLE More than 5,000 people were in attendance for WSSU's Fall Commencement at the Lawerence Joel Coliseum Friday afternoon, to witness a moment those on the floor will look back on for a long time to come. , "It's people like you who are going to leave this institu tion and go out into the world and make a difference," keynote speaker Vivian Burke sagely advised the graduates. "Think about your character, think about how courageous you can be," added the mayor pro tempore. "You have to be in charge of your own des tiny." Like any graduating class, those who marched across the stage last week represented myriad stories; stories of determination, of strength, of sheer will and, finally, of tri Mayor Pro Tempore Dr. Vivian Burke speaks. umph. Magna Cum Laude Graduate Juanita Penn described herself as "over joyed, overwhelmed, excited and thanking God!" Penn, manager of the Red Room dining facility, which serves WSSU faculty and staff members, said she had long desired to enroll in college, but her own insecurities held her back. "It was just a dream from years back (but) ...I didn't think I was what they call, 'college material,"' she admitted. Thanks to the sup port of many of the professors she worked with, Penn finally found the strength to pursue her dream and enrolled in col lege at age 57. "I think being a nontradi tional student, you will0 be more focused and more disci p 1 i n e d See WSSU on A12 Photos by Layla Finner Joel Cruz Cartegena stands by as a student hits a pinata. jFeliz Navidad! Children celebrate Christinas, Mexican style BY LAYLA FARMER THE CHRONICLE The pinata burst and pandemonium broke out in Tia Cain's second grade classroom at Ashley Magnet Elementary School Friday. The children dove to the floor, eagerly scooping up every morsel they could find. The pinata that now lay in pieces on the floor was carefully crafted by the children, with the help of a few dedicated parents, earlier that week, as part of a special class project centered around Christmas in Mexico. "We wanted to integrate another culture (into our holiday celebration)," Cain explained. "I have two Hispanic children, and every time a holiday comes up. it's about how we do things in (America); so I invited our Hispanic parents in to tell us how See Christmas on All Tia Cain Elf on the Run Photo by Kevin Walker Janet Moss is spending many of her pre-Christmas days dressed as one of Santa's elves. It is all in the spirit of fun as she visits day care centers and senior citizens facil ities to spread some holiday joy. Here she is at a toy give J away last week at the Sims Rec Center. Read more about the program on B8. Tree-For-All Program provides Christmas staple to local families BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE k Hundreds of free Christmas trees arrived in the homes of oveijoyed families last Saturday as part of Operation Christmas Tree. For 20 years, the Christmas tree giveaway has spread holiday joy. Every year, volunteers gather trees, wreathes and garland from Christmas tree lots across the county on the Saturday before Christmas. In past years, the trees and accessories have been taken to the parking lot of Ernie Shore Field. This year, the giveaway moved to its new location in the nearby parking lot of Lawrence Joel Photo by Todd Lock Bettie Wardlow with members of her family. Memorial Coliseum Annex. Those needing a tree simply come by and volunteers help them pick out one, carry it to their vehicle and secure it for the ride home. Ted Freshwater started Operation Christmas Tree. He's had tree lots offer him more trees than he could transport this year. He said it was a win- win for the lots, since trees that would normal ly be discarded end up in peo ple's homes. He said the joy he sees in the recipients makes it worth it. "The best reward we can get is the wide eyes of the children to see these (trees) See TVces on All In Memory of Charlene Russell Brown " Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve You Better" Hiiggelt Jfutterai fffotw Wishes to Thank Everyone For Their Support 822 Carl Russell Ave. Cat IVfartin Luther Kins Winston-SHlem, NC 27101 (336) Fax (336) rusfhome <sm> bellsou th -net 6*9 07^S243??7 *

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