On March 19 at the Rankin Christian Center the National Council of Negro Women, Rankin/Mon Valley/Pittsburgh, PA Section, honored eight amazing women who are 80 years of age and beyond. A sold out crowd of family, friends and NCNW members perused a great selection of vendors and a tasty lunch catered by Aunt Cheryl’s Catering.

HONOREES—Mildred Elaine (Thornton) Reynolds, Donellia Wiley, Jack Thoms, accepting for his late wife Hattie Thoms, Ruth Richardson, Hattie Watts, Elsie Neal and Katie Everette Johnson. (Photos by Debbie Norrell)

The honorees included Katie Everette Johnson, church worker, board member and dedicated volunteer; Elsie Parr Neal, artist, reverend and teacher to the blind; Mildred Elaine (Thornton) Reynolds, traveler, fisherman and lover of crossword puzzles; Ruth Richardson, artist, retired social worker, Three Rivers Art Festival board member; Hattie Watts, golfer, volunteer, and traveler; and Donellia Wiley, devoted church member, sports enthusiast and traveler.

Two honorees unfortunately passed prior to the luncheon. Hattie Thoms, devoted church member, committee woman and board member, passed away Feb. 26 and Barbara Edwards Lee passed Feb. 18. Lee was an active volunteer, NCNW member and retired computer specialist.

Each honoree received a letter from Governor Tom Corbett and was presented with a plaque from NCNW that featured the founder of NCNW, Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Height former head of the NCNW. The Hon. Cheryl Lynn Allen, judge Superior Court of Pennsylvania, was the guest speaker for the afternoon.

It has been said that NCNW owes it all to Dorothy Height and her six decades of leadership and service to carry on her humble traditions of work and service, and the lesson she would want us to leave with today is we can all be first in service. We can all be drum majors for a righteous cause

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