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Volume39,Number7 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. THURSDAY, October 11, 2012
Fundraising event honors
legacy of NBTF founder
BY TODD LUCK
Party-goers celebrated the legacy of Larry
Leon Hamlin on Saturday.
The North Carolina Black Repertory
Company, which Hamlin founded in 1979, held
its annual Marvtastic Bash at the Benton
Convention Center. While the evening of food,
dancing and entertainment is a fundraiser for
next year's National Black Theatre Festival
(NBTF) - a bienni
al showcase of I
some of the world's I
best black stage R
Hamlin created in
1989 - it is also a
of the larger-than
life theater icon
who passed away
in 2007. Sept. 25
would have been
him as a visionary who knew that in order to
save black theater throughout the African dias
pora, there had to be a way for the companies
to come together to dialogue and to showcase
the best of the best," said Elwanda Ingram, a
member of the Black Rep Guild, a volunteer
and fundraising board.
Wende Walker, the Black Rep's marketing
coordinator, read a tribute to Hamlin penned by
Perri Gaffney, a writer/actress whose "The
Resurrection of Alice" was such a success at
the 2011 NBTF that the Black Rep recently
staged it as a fundraiser. Hamlin's son, Larentl
See Gala on A5
Photo* by Todd Luck
Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin stands beside an image of her late husband,
Larry Leon Hamlin.
Housing Authority honors heroes
BY LAYLA GARMS
The first-ever Winston
Salem Housing Authority
Heroes celebration was held
Tuesday during the monthly
meeting of the agency's
Board of Commissioners.
The Housing Authority
showed its appreciation to
employees and community
partners who go above and
beyond the call of duty to
help the agency and its resi
"Today, we are going to
honor some very special
individuals who have done
HAWS Human Resources
and Public Relations
Director Alisa Quick told the
capacity audience that
packed the meeting room for
the lunchtime gathering.
Riverside, Calif, native
Louis Todd was an honoree.
Todd, who works in HAWS'
maintenance unit, has earned
the moniker "superman"
after his actions on Sept. 6.
"I left work from
Cleveland Avenue Homes,
and I got on the freeway.
Right there, I noticed traffic
was heavy, but there was no
obstruction. I looked to the
Photo by Layb Garms
holds two year
A n t w o n
Dobson and his
right and I saw a car in a
ditch. It was overturned,"
said the father of three. "I
thought it was my son's car
See HAWS on A10
Yellow Jackets Swarming
Carver High School's marching band, dancers and cheerleaders perform during
the school's spirited Homecoming Pep Rally last Friday. Read more on page Bl.
of Winston-Salem, LLC
Photos by Layb Garros
Vernetta Cockerham speaks at Family Services, Inc.
Daughter's death pushes woman to
push for end to domestic violence
Vernetta Cockerham is one of the countless faces of domes
A few days before Thanksgiving in 2002, her estranged hus
band, Richard Ellerbee. murdered her 17 year-old daughter,
Candice, and battered Cockerham, a Winston-Salem native and
mother of three, within inches of her life. The tragedy took place
in Jonesville, a small town in Yadkin County.
Cockerham says the man she once loved brutalized her
before lying in
wait for her at
her home. In a
attempt to get to
save her daugh
wounds to her
hands, head and
neck. The scar
down her neck
is a stark
reminder of how
close she came
Her estranged husband then choked her and left her for dead.
She still remembers the desperate break she made for the
Jonesville Police Department, which was within sight of her
home at the time.
She collapsed once she reached the Police Department. It all
happened less than 24 hours after officers had vowed to protect
her by arresting Ellerbee, who had violated a restraining order
that prohibited him from going near Cockerham many times
over a four-month period.
Despite the devastation, anger and grief she felt, Cockerham
was determined that her daughter would not die in vain. In 2009,
after years of court battles, Cockerham was awarded a $430,000
settlement in the lawsuit she waged against the Jonesville Police
Department. She used the money to found a domestic violence
shelter in Yadkin County - a resource she said was not previous
ly available in the area - and named it Candice's Heart.
"I made it my life purpose to help each and every individual
(I could)," Cockerham declared. "Sometimes, I have to do what
other people won't do, which is go into your environment and
come get you. It's a liability, but that's okay."
Today, Cockerham's harrowing story is well known across
See Awareaeat on AS
These purple flowers represent local resi
dents fast to domestic violence.
Pastors nudge residents to polls
BY LAYLA GARMS
Local pastors are using
their spiritual gifts and com
munity influence to get out
Dr. Sir Walter Mack Jr.,
pastor of Union Baptist
Church, hosted a two day
revival last week that was
designed to educate and
engage local voters. The
more than 1,200 attendees
heard from powerful speak
ers like Rev. William
Barber III, president of the
state NAACP, and Dr. John
Mendez, pastor of
Emmanuel Baptist Church
and a well-known social jus
"We feel like this elec
tion is critical, and we
thought that a revival would
be a way to awaken people
to the reality of the urgency
and to get people motivated
and excited, as well as
informed about this upcom