The 2014 NAACP Murfreesboro Branch Freedom Fund Banquet honorees

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On Friday, August 22, 2014, the NAACP Murfreesboro Branch will host their annual Freedom Fund Banquet. This event will take place at Patterson Park Community Center located in Murfreesboro, TN at 7:00pm. The theme for this event is, All in for Justice and Equality.

The 2014 NAACP Murfreesboro Branch Freedom Fund Banquet honorees are as followed:

Youths of the Year:


Cambria Wilson (Right) -Currently, Miss Wilson is a senior at Central Magnet School with a 4.0 GPA and one of the valedictorians. She is an active participant in the following academic clubs: National Honors Society, Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), Mu Alpha Theta, Beta Club, and the National Spanish Honors Society. In addition to the following activities: TN Governor's School for the Sciences (2013), Confucius Institute Chinese Summer Bridge Camp in China (2012), Southern Spain Tour (2012), YMCA Camp Widjiwagan CREW Leadership Program (2011, 2012)-just to name a few. Her hobbies are collecting magnets, traveling, working with Special Needs Children, studying Spanish, learning about the Medical Field, attending Christian activities and Services, and a member of the Murfreesboro-Rutherford County NAACP Youth Council.

Eric Abernathy (Below)- Eric was named Mr. Beautillion of the Gentlemen's Academy in March 2013 by the Murfreesboro Achievement Foundation. He represented the Murfreesboro Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. in the Student of the Year Pageant where he won the regional title and went on to compete at the national level. In 2010, Eric along with other students entering high school begin the Leadership Academy Program of the Dr. MLK, Jr. Scholarship Fund of Rutherford County. He was awarded the I L.E.A.D. Award from the Leadership Academy for achieving a 4.0 G.P.A., community service and perfect attendance in the program. To build on his experience of international studies, Eric traveled in July 2013 with the Confucius Institute at MTSU to China. Eric will be attending the University of Memphis, where he is enrolled in the Helen Hardin Honors College to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in pre-health services.


Pauline J McGowan (right) - Pauline (P. Jai) McGowan is a native of Murfreesboro, TN. She attends Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church where she serves as the choir director. Recently, P. Jai graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Theatre Performance and a minor in Nutrition. During her time at MTSU, she joined Alpha Psi Omega National Theater Honor Society and Gamma Sigma Sigma National Community Service Sorority Inc. She was nominated and a semi-finalist for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship and awarded the Make a Difference Award. P.Jai has a passion for children, the arts, sign language, and so much more.

Woman if the Year

Irma Goodman- Ms. Goodman was born in Rutherford County the forth child of James and Ruthie Goodman. She's also president of the Smithfork District Women Department and lends her time as Youth Advisor and member of Church Women United. You can find Ms. Goodman patrolling the Mercury and Baird Lane for over seven (7) years as a school Patrol Officer. She is a wonderful Mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Irma Goodman is a true servant of the community.

Man of the Year

  1. Richard Garvin: Currently, Dr. Gavin works at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center, VHA-TVH: Geriatric Outpatient Care; Geriatric Long Term Care; Educational Coordinator for Geriatric Extended Care Medical Residents in Training. He is a Diplomate American Board of Internal Medicine.

His professional memberships and Community service includes: Volunteer Health Care Advisor for citizens with needs; Volunteer health care provider for Tenn National Guard, Smyrna, TN; Rotary International; R.F. Boyd Medical Society; Volunteer State Medical Association; National Medical Association; Building Assistance for Churches in Need.

President's Award:

Kappa Alpha Psi (above)- The Murfreesboro Alumni Chapter (MAC) of Kappa Alpha Psi was established on November 22, 1986. The Murfreesboro Alumni Chapter (MAC) of Kappa Alpha Psi was established on November 22, 1986. Our signature event is the Gentleman's Academy and Middle TN Kappa Beautillion Program. The purpose of the Gentleman's Academy is to enrich the lives of young ethnic minority men through personal growth and development workshops that serve as a complement to their formal education. The Gentleman's Academy strongly promotes a holistic lifestyle to achieve a balanced life for success. This is a six-month life skills program that leads to the culmination known as the Middle TN Kappa Beautillion Program. This is an event where men are showcased to society and earn scholarship money based on an incentive program and merit through a Kappa Beautillion point system.

Civic Leader Award

Ravonda Rucker (right) - Ms. Rucker earned her funeral home directors license in 1991, opening Rucker Memorial Chapel. She is the first African-American female to be a sole proprietor of a funeral home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Revonda divides her time between caring for patients in her nursing career, and caring for families as they grieve the loss of loved ones. "Caring for others has been a passion in my life. Nursing was my initial career path and it remains and it remains a source of joy. I've been inspired by colleagues and the families that I assist. Serving as a funeral director allows me to provide a needed service to support families during times of loss and transition. In the 17 years that I have operated Rucker Memorial Chapel, we have been honored to support the diversifying community of Middle Tennessee. She served as Recording Secretary and 1st Democratic Woman. Revonda is also a member of the Eastern Stars Venus Chapter 61. She continues to serve the community in a very supportive way.

Need Tickets?

Ticket prices for adults are $40.00 per person and for young people age 24 and under the cost is $20.00 per person. In addition, you can purchase a table of 10 for $375.00

For additional information regarding the 2014 Freedom Fund Banquet, please contact any member of the Murfreesboro Branch via email at or Chaplain Ernest Newsom (Freedom Fund Banquet Chair) at or 615-945-5111.

Read more from:
Murfreesboro NAACP, NAACP, Rutherford County NAACP, Tennessee NAACP, TN NAACP
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