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Volume41,Number7 WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. THURSDAY, October 23, 2014
Photos by Chanel Davis
Chancellor Donald Reaves accepts a
check from Hullda Hopewell.
BY CHANEL DAVIS
There were hugs, kisses and gasps of
excitement last Thursday night at the
Ramada Plaza Hotel.
The Winston-Salem State University
Class of 1964 converged there to celebrate
their 50th class
reunion. The event
Members of the
class, who are now
in their 70s, took a
walk down memory
lane. When they
State was still Winston-Salem Teachers
College and a mere shadow of the sprawl
ing campus it is today.
Norma Rawlings said that she barley
recognized the campus when she saw it
last week for the first time since the
1970s. Fifty years ago, she left the school
with a nursing degree; it enabled her to
teach at nursing schools throughout the
"1 am just so proud of everyone and all
the things that they've accomplished in
Winston-Salem," she said. "To see my old
classmates, and to even correspond in the
preparation of this whole event, has been
wonderful. I am overjoyed."
The Steering Committee, headed by
Mary Gill, had been working on the
reunion, which was themed "Reflect,
Rejoice and Renew," for the past Jew
years. James McNeal, who worked on the
Correspondence Committee from his
home in Detroit, said that it was hard
work getting in touch with classmates.
"The planning began in 2011 with a
few classmates hanging out on campus
after the game. Of course, we started rem
iniscing about our times at college,"
McNeal said. "In November 2011, we sent
the first letter about the reunion out to
addresses we had."
But there were many names of class
members that no one could recall, and the
means to contact some were none existent.
He helped to develop a directory and
make contact with as many people as pos
See 1950 on A7
Inspired by Tragedy
Domestic violence education group holding first program
BY CHANEL DAVIS
A new organization is working to
equip women - young and old - with
tools and knowledge to escape or avoid
TaWanna Archia started My Sister's
Keeper, a faith-based organization ded
icated to the health and healing of
women, after a fellow Mount Calvary
Holy Church member was killed in
Authorities say Cheryl Bethea, 42,
was stabbed outside of her home by her
boyfriend. Bethea's daughter and
grandson were in the home at the time.
Archia was upset when she heard
the news and wondered what she could
have done had she known her friend
was in a violent relationship.
"She was not someone that you
would've put in that type of situation.
She was always happy, always smiling,"
Photo by Chanel Davis
Archia said. "One of the things that
challenged me as a church member and
as a fellow sister in Christ was how did
I miss the signs. How was I not able to
assist her with what she was dealing
That type of thinking spurred Archia
to action. Her organization will hold its
first event - a domestic violence sym
posium - on
Saturday, Oct. 25.
"It all fell
quickly. 1 put up a
wanting to do this
and some women
began telling me
they were interest
ed. We started
meeting last month and had a few meet
ings," Archia said. "We wanted to keep
it in October because it is Domestic
Violence Awareness month."
The symposium, which is free and
See Sister's on A9
Photos fry Todd Luck
with his sister.
er this week.
Russia's Turns 75
BY TODD LUCK
A family business that has helped
many through difficult times is cele
brating its 75th anniversary with a spe
cial service at Union Baptist Church on
Gospel performances will punctuate
the celebration for Russell's Funeral
Home, which was founded in October
1939 by the late Carl H. Russell Sr. The
5 p.m. service will feature Dionn Owen
6 Renaissance, The Queenettes and
Keith Byrd & Company.
The funeral home's connection to
local churches and gospel is as old as it
is. The voice of founder Russell was
heard on WAAA Radio for years on his
popular gospel show.
"He reached out to so many through
his gospel program. Many people tuned
in at eight o'clock on Sunday morning
so they could find out what was going
on," said Russell's daughter. Carmen
Russell, who runs the family business
with her brother, Cedric, and other fam
He used the show to do more than
A photo of Carl Russell Sr. and Florrie
Sitgraves Russell hangs in the lobby.
simply play music, Carmen said. He
reached out to the sick and shut-in,
encouraged voting and kept listeners
informed and educated. She filled his
shoes as the show's host in 1978 and
kept the hosting duties until the station
folded in the 1990s.
The 10 Russell children grew up in
the funeral business, carefully learning
their sense of caring and community
responsibility from their father and
mother, Florrie Sitgraves Russell.
Like death, the funeral business
never sleeps. Carmen recalls her father
rising at all hours of the night and early
morning to comfort families and
"When death came (my father) had
to go," she said. "On many days, 1
would see him leave the dining room
table because we'd get a death call.
We'd always have to be so ready; it's
not like it can wait. I've seen him leave
his dinner on the table many days and
assist families in need of funeral servic
Death calls aren't the only kind that
moved the Russell clan to action. Good
community stewardship was required
by their parents. The Russell brothers
provided ambulance service to the com
munity. a common practice of funeral
homes at one time. There were also
many causes they supported and many
to whom they lent a helping hand.
See Russell's on M
Author behind hit show coming to town
BY CHANEL DAVIS
Two years ago, Jason Molt was busy answering service
calls at his job at Verizon Wireless.
Today, the Bolton, N.C. native is an acclaimed best-sell
ing author whose book "The Returned" is the basis for a hit
ABC drama. Mott is on a cross-country book tour promot
ing his latest - "The Wonder of All Things." That tour will
bring him to Winston-Salem on Tuesday, Oct. 28.
See Mott on A10
ABC Studio* Photo
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