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Sojourner Truth event will honor 8 for excellence in community roles

The Buffalo Club of the National Association of the Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs will hold its 54th annual Sojourner Truth Award and Founder's Day Luncheon at noon Saturday in the Hearthstone Manor, 333 Dick Road, Depew.

Tickets are $35 and can be reserved by calling 832-2971 or 628-8462.

Eight members of the community will be honored for excellence in business, education and community service at the event. They are:

*Josephine Hunter Robbins, who will receive the Sojourner Truth Award. A dedicated teacher and administrator, Robbins has devoted more than 35 years to the field of education. She also has worked with parents and as a community volunteer.

*The Rev. Dennis Lee Jr., who will receive the Man of the Year Award. Lee has been pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church since 1988. A Vietnam War veteran and former National Grid employee, Lee is known as a effective leader and teacher who has been involved with his church's missionary ministry, and has been a member of many boards, including Deaconess, as well as the deacons, trustees and ushers boards. He also has been active in the Nurses Guild and the Youth and Young Adult Choir.

*Charles A. Walker, who will receive the Scholarship Incentive Award. Walker, a lifelong Niagara Falls resident, was employed by Gibraltar Metals of Buffalo before taking a job with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. A community health advocate, he is director of community outreach and has organized a monthly cable television health program, "Good News Broadcast." He is also serving his fourth term as a Niagara Falls City Council member and is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart and Stroke Association.

*Annette Appleton Watts, who will receive the Business Award. Watts started a home business while working at M. Wile & Co., eventually opening her own dress-making business, AnnRhod's Tailoring & Dress Making, which she recently expanded.

*Kendra P. Washington, who will receive the Professional Award. A licensed clinical social worker with the state Office of Mental Health, Washington holds degrees in health and human services, as well as a master's of social work. She also maintains a private practice, along with serving on numerous boards, committees and foundations.

Scholarship Incentive Awards will be presented to:

*Patrice Alexandria Dixon, a senior at Lancaster High School. She plans to attend Villa Maria College in the fine arts program to study photography, with the goal of owning her own studio. She has also been involved in the community, including food drives and volunteering at the Joan A. Male Family Support Center Giving Tree. In addition, she has been involved with the United Way's "U GIVE" program.

*Ashley Alexandria Brown, a member of New Hope Baptist Church and a City Honors High School graduate, is a student and volunteer who has been involved in organ donation awareness, the Multicultural Club, the Student Council, the African Dance Troupe, Amnesty International and the youth choir.

*Chasen Lasalle, a senior art major and honor roll student at Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, who has been involved in numerous extracurricular activities, including the Student Council, prom committee and mock trial. He is also school store treasurer and co-editor of the yearbook. He is a member of Evangelistic Temple Community Church.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com