Posted Online: June 22, 2013, 11:42 pm

NAACP honors local individuals, groups

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By Laura Anderson Shaw, landerson@qconline.com

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Photo: Laura Anderson Shaw | staff
The Rock Island County Branch NAACP No. 3268 held its sixth annual Freedom Fund Banquet and Image Awards at Abbey Station in Rock Island on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Image Award recipients are: Lynda Sargent, of Rock Island; K.A.L.A. FM Radio, represented by operations manager David Baker; Linda Dothard, of Rock Island; James Kerr, Sr., of Rock Island; Prairie State Legal Aid, represented by managing attorney Gretchen Farwell; YouthBuild Quad Cities, represented by executive director Rufus Greer, Jr.; and Morrison Barber Shop, in Rock Island (not pictured.)
ROCK ISLAND -- Seven Quad-City individuals and organizations were honored Saturday night during the sixth annual Freedom Fund Banquet hosted by the NAACP of Rock Island County at Abbey Station.

Rock Island County NAACP President Liz Sherwin said the annual dinner helps raise funds to support the group's programs and activities. Each year, members nominate people and groups for Image Awards based on their work in the community.

Ms. Sherwin said the awards "recognize people in the community that have done outstanding things."

"Maybe it will motivate other people to do things," she said, while showing people that "individuals really do make a difference."

The 2013 Image Award recipients included:

-- Linda Dothard, who received the Charles and Annie Robinson Education Image Award. Ms. Dothard, of Rock Island, is the president of the Rock Island-Milan school board. She has served on the board for 15 years and was the first African-American woman elected city-wide in Rock Island.

-- Morrison Barber Shop, which received the Business Image Award. Open for 26 years, the Rock Island business has been one of the few businesses located on 9th Street in Rock Island.

-- Prairie State Legal Aid, which received the Justice Image Award. Since 1977, the agency of lawyers and paralegals has provided free legal services to Rock Island County residents who are low-income, older than 60 or who have disabilities.

-- James Kerr, Sr., who received the Charles Toney, Sr. Civil Rights Hero Image Award. The longtime civil rights activist is a former Rock Island 1st Ward alderman who chaired the city initiative for a ward system. He also was instrumental in 9th Street's Martin Luther King Drive.

-- YouthBuild Quad Cities, which received the Youth Development Image Award Located in Rock Island. YouthBuild teaches building trades to people 16 to 24 years old, while also offering mentoring and other assistance.

-- KALA-FM Radio, which received the Arts and Entertainment Image Award. The non-profit radio station at St. Ambrose University in Davenport has operated for more than 40 years. It was the first in the community to broadcast secular and non-secular programs that targeted the African-American and Hispanic communities.

-- Lynda Sargent, who received the Religion Image Award. The Rock Island resident is an active member of the Rock Island County NAACP's Religious Affairs Committee and has a prison ministry for inmates in the Rock Island County Jail.

Rock Island High School graduate Tyshianna Bankhead, of Rock Island, also received a $500 scholarship at Saturday's banquet. Scholarship applicants were judged on their grade-point averages and essays on their community service work.

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP's Washington Bureau and the national NAACP senior vice president for advocacy and policy, was the keynote speaker at Saturday night's event.