WELDON, N.C. – For the ninth year, Halifax Community College (HCC) held its "Saluting Our Local African-American Heroes" celebration. Special honors were bestowed on six community leaders during the Feb. 18 ceremony.
This year's hero honorees included:
Local African-American Heroes
Milton “Wade” Bailey
Carolyn Fleming Battle
Roy L. Bell
Presidential Africa-American Hero
Robert Silver Sr.
The Presidential Heroes award was presented to Mr. Robert Silver Sr. Honorees thanked God, their family, friends, church family and many others for supporting them in their achievements.
About the 2016 Heroes
Milton "Wade" Bailey
Wade Bailey has been an active member of the Enfield Fire Department, volunteering his services for more than 16 years. He is always calm and collected regardless of the chaos going on around him, whether it is a terrible emergency scene or the hectic daily demands that is placed on volunteer firefighters coping with their regular job and families. He is always ready to share with those around him the knowledge and the accompanying wisdom that he has learned. Wade has a supportive wife, four children and a grandchild. He is active at the First Baptist Church in Enfield. His family and friends know Wade as the man that will come to help if you call.
Carolyn Fleming Battle
Carolyn Battle is the Executive Director of the Lincoln Heights Community Center, which offers an after-school program for school-aged children in Halifax County. Many of the Center’s programs are cost-associated and it is not unusual for Carolyn to assist financially. She is very proud of the children there and always encourages them to want more for themselves and others. She is also good at making things stretch – she can take a little of something and make sure there is enough to go around. She always makes sure children are in the front of the line, not for her glory but for her passion to take care of the child that is hurting, hungry and wants more in life.
Roy L. Bell
Roy Bell has always been concerned about his community and helping people in general. He grew up with working parents who instilled in him the value of hard work and helping others, and has strived to always live by that value. He has been mayor of Garysburg for over 20 years and is also a member of the volunteer fire department. He takes great pride in helping with fires and herring breakfast and chicken plate fundraisers. For the past three years he has served as chairman of the deacon board at Roanoke Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, where he also teaches Sunday School and sings in three choirs. Roy is the oldest of seven children and he has been married to his high school sweetheart for over 30 years.
Gussie Silver is a true African-American hero. She has served the Littleton community and the surrounding areas for close to 40 years as a first-class caterer, wedding planner and floral decorator. She has a clear, well-defined perception of the preparation of the meals, takes pride in the presentation and is determined to please her customers. Gussie is a professional who goes over and beyond the call of duty to satisfy those whom she serves. Her pleasant personality, business acumen and remarkable fortitude have all played a significant role in her being recognized as a woman of grace, dignity and amazing strength. She has employed local citizens and unselfishly taught them the art and science of her trade, the value of good leadership and the importance of giving excellent customer service. Gussie is a woman of strong Christian values who is always willing to help others in her church and community. She is a member of Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church in Littleton, North Carolina, She and her husband, Robert, recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary.
LaToya Williams is an independent education consultant whose work has been dedicated to helping her community identify ways to engineer a life they don’t want to escape. Before science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEM) education programs gained traction in the region, LaToya developed an engineering and arts-infused curriculum for 90 incoming kindergarten students at KIPP Gaston College Primary. As the lead resource developer at the Garysburg Volunteer Public Library, she coordinated the very first Black History Month event that engaged community members aged 2 - 72 and showcased African Dance and drumming workshops from award-winning Lesole's Dance Project. LaToya brings the knowledge she has learned from every person with whom she interacts.
About the 2016 Presidential Hero
Robert Silver Sr.
Robert Silver Sr. is a lifelong resident of Littleton, North Carolina. While working at Newsome Chevrolet in Littleton, he had a vision of owning and operating his own business in the community. His dream became a reality in 1967 when he opened Robert’s Body Shop. From this business he was able to mentor and encourage young men in the community about life skills, spirituality, and the importance of the Bible verse from Mark 12:31, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” He retired from Robert’s Body Shop in 1987.
Robert has shown unselfish devotion to others in his community and church. He was ordained as a deacon at Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church in Littleton over 60 years ago. Robert and his wife, Gussie, opened A Catered Affair in 1999, which helped the local economy by hiring local citizens to work in the catering business. He has mentored many young people in business ethics and customer service skills. A Catered Affair has donated thousands of dollars to charities nationwide and in the Roanoke Valley.
|Pictured are, from left, Robert Silver Sr., Marie Robinson, Gussie Silver, LaToya Williams, Donna Clements, Roy L. Bell, Mary Bell-Lee, Belinda Brown, Carolyn Fleming Battle, Dr. Kevin Kupietz, Amanda Bailey (accepting for Milton “Wade Bailey and HCC President Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr.