ATLANTIC CITY â€“ Atlantic City Mayor Frank Gilliam leads a list of honorees who will be recognized at the Fellowship of Churches of Atlantic City & Vicinity’s 92nd annual Excellence Award on Oct. 13.
The annual ceremony, put on by the 65-church organization, will happen from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel.
Gilliam, who became the third African-American mayor in the 165-year history of Atlantic City, will be honored with Debbie Washington, superintendent of the Pleasantville Recreation Center, in the government category.
“Mayor Frank Gilliam is one of the founding pioneers of grassroots organization Connecting Dots,” Rev. R. Fulton Hargrove, president of the Fellowship of Churches, told FrontRunnerNewJersey.com. “That is a program that goes through the community and gets young kids and they take them to historical black colleges on tours, then they help them find the money to go to school.”
Hargrove also cited Dr. John Baker and his wife Ann in the medical field for their philanthropy work in Atlantic City.
“They have been doing great things in the community for years and we wanted to make sure they get recognized,” Hargrove said. Other honorees include:
*Business: Kelsey’s and Kim’s; and Gary’s Restaurant.
*Law Enforcement: Sgt. Willie Santiago, Sgt. Willie Santiago, PAL executive director, Atlantic City; Chief Sean Riggins, Pleasantville.
*Education: Michael Everett, of Linwood, former director at the Champions of Youth Program for the Boys and Girls Club; Dr. Wilda Colon, Stockton University.
*Social: Vincent Omar McDaniel; Perry Mays.
*Juvenile Court: C. Curtis Still; Connie Price.
*Athletics: Coach Gene Allen; Coach Thomas Kelly.
Hargrove said there the gala will also honor the senior female of each church, by age or seniority with its Matriarch Awards. The honors will be recognized from the recommendations made by the pastor of each local church, Hargrove said.
“We want to take the opportunity and privilege to highlight people who been overlooked in our community with an award of excellence from the business, from medical, from government, from education, different strings of our community,” Hargrove said. “This year we have chosen individuals who have a legacy of benefiting our youth.”
“It’s a black and white affair. It’s going to be a beautiful, beautiful evening,” he continued.