May 3, 2009
The 100 Black Men of Columbus and the Golden Triangle May 8 will celebrate the achievements of about 15 of its teen protégés during the group''s annual scholarship banquet and fundraiser.
The banquet will begin at 7 p.m. at the Mississippi University for Women''s Hogarth Dining Center. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $25 and will be available at the door.
"Last year, we raised about $4,000 at the banquet, and hopefully we will be able to match that this year," said Dennis Erby, the group''s treasurer and secretary. "Almost all of the money we raise goes towards supporting our organization and programs to benefit our protégés.
"And this year, our banquet will feature Andre Lewis, a local pilot and author, as the guest speaker," Erby added.
Each year, 100 Black Men maintains a class of about 15 protégés as part of the group''s mentoring program, and is the organization''s "biggest focus," said Erby.
Through the program, members of the organization personally mentor a seventh-through-12th-grade African-American male student, and strive to teach the students leadership and success-building techniques, Erby explained.
The protégés each year are selected from a pool of applicants by school counselors from each middle and high school in the Golden Triangle.
After graduating high school, each protégé is given a $250 stipend from 100 Black Men. Protégés also are eligible to receive a $750 scholarship from the group after enrolling in college.
"This event is kind of an annual celebration of the successes of our protégés," said Erby. "We will have a special presentation honoring several of our protégés and others during the banquet, but I can''t reveal who we will be honoring until the night of the banquet."