The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

October 7, 2013

Freedom Fund banquet speaker stresses service

MERCER COUNTY — History is filled with trying times, lost generations and the need for change, Andrea Carson told a packed house at the Park Inn by Radisson in Shenango Township.

“Change is the one thing that will never change,” Carson said.

The executive director and partner of Carson Criminal Justice Consultants, Columbus, Ohio, Carson is the retired communications director for the Ohio prison system.

She was the keynote speaker for the 50th Freedom Fund banquet of the Mercer County Unit of the NAACP.

She gave a rousing, wide-ranging talk of reflections on the theme of the night: “A new vision for the next generation.”

One of the keys to acquiring that vision is service, she said.

“Helping someone (else) to be the best they can be,” is a key to “acquire and obtain justice,” for all, she said.

That’s one of the aims of the NAACP, which is the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

Its mission is “to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights to all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.”

The Mercer County Unit is led by Monica Y. Gregory.

Gregory urged those who support the NAACP to “do what it takes to harvest a commitment towards injustice that is still plaguing America and Americans.”

Doing that requires perseverance, Carson said.

“Our children are killing each other day after day after day,” Carson said. “African American males are filling up prisons.

“Maybe they’re not lost, we just have to lift them up,” she said, and clear up “the blurred vision” they have.

The youth of today live during a time that “feels hopeless and helpless,” to some, such that they “resort to killing as a sport.”

Members of previous generations who have endured hardship need to share the story of their struggles with the youth of today, she said.

“We all have a story; we weren’t always on top,” she said. “We need to share that with this ‘now’ generation.”

Adults need to live as examples for youth and “practice what we preach,” she said.

“We’re going to have to pitch in deep and help each other and become servants,” she said.

It takes “strong-willed individuals who know the meaning of service,” she said.

“And time. And guess what, the time is now,” she said.

“It’s time to take away the blindfold. No more excuses. No more why fors and what nows,” Carson said. “The pain of our past must keep us focused on our vision.”

“Now’s the time to uphold the promise and support each other,” she said. “Marvelous, mighty and magnificent things lie ahead.”

This was the 50th Freedom Fund banquet held locally and it comes on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington that was a touchstone of the civil rights movement.

“These are special times to be a president,” Gregory said.

On Friday, the group honored Farrell philanthropist and astronomer Ted Pedas, who annually supports Farrell schools with a unique cash donation that aims to help honor each student in the district.

“I have always appreciated what my school and my community gave to me,” Pedas said in accepting the NAACP community service award.

The group also honored former president George Footman with a special “president’s award” for his service to the organization.

The 2013 NAACP Scholarship Awards went to Alisha Tarver, a 2013 Farrell High School graduate now studying at Youngstown State University, and Nelson Murphy, a 2013 Hickory High School graduate now studying at the University of Pittsburgh.

Text Only
Local News
  • 3 area fire depts. awarded grants

    Three area fire departments will share in more than $590,000 in grants meant to help Pennsylvania’s rural communities guard against the threat of fires in forests and other undeveloped areas, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Ellen Ferretti announced.

    July 25, 2014

  • One suspect in home shooting is jailed

    The first of three suspects police say were involved in an attempted robbery that ended in a shooting is in jail.

    July 25, 2014

  • Dancing kids K.I.D.S. day

    Hoping to reach children at just the right age, when they are old enough to understand but not past the point where it may be too late, Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission counselors held an “alternative activities” day at the courthouse Thursday, complete with music and dancing, hot dogs and treats, games and T-shirts.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014