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Black History Month program set Friday in Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS – Buffalo Promise Neighborhood board member Yvonne Minor-Ragan will be the keynote speaker on the theme “Become a Champion of Change” at the ninth annual Niagara Falls Black History Celebration Friday at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, 621 Tenth St.

Ragan, a former principal of the Westminster Community Charter School and a member of the John R. Oishei Foundation board of directors, will speak at the luncheon, which will begin at 11:30 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m., a program on healthy living, “Getting to the Heart of the Matter,” will be presented by Dr. Jeffrey McGuire and Michelle Sneed, a nurse practitioner. Health screenings and wellness information also will be provided.

Community service recognition honors will be presented to W. Lee Whitaker and Carlton Cain.

Whitaker, a retired public housing manager with the Niagara Falls Housing Authority and a domestic violence instructor, has served as a member of the NFC Development Corp., the lending arm for the city. She also remains a commissioner for the Niagara Falls Human Rights Commission.

Cain, the city’s deputy police superintendent, has been with the Niagara Falls Police Department for more than 25 years. He is a former president of the Niagara Falls Boys and Girls Club, a YMCA volunteer and past board president and vice president of the Niagara Police Athletic League.

Music will be provided by students from Niagara Street School and the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center Gospel Chorus.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is provided in the medical center’s covered parking ramp.