Natchez Business and Civic League honors top community leaders

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The top business leaders of Natchez’s black community were honored Friday night at the Natchez Business and Civic League’s 28th annual Awards Banquet.

For the league, whose mission is to promote black entrepreneurship and civic involvement, &uot;it has been a very good year,&uot; said league President Michael Winn.

Those honored at the banquet, which was held at the D.W. Howard Multi-Purpose Center, included:

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4The Rev. Oscar Lewis, Greater Faith Tabernacle pastor and child care center founder, recipient of the G.F. West Man of the Year Award.

4Delores Marie Johnson &045; founder of Wonder Years Child Care Learning Center, Creative Supplies and B&L Tobacco &045; recipient of the Alice Felix Woman of the Year Award.

4Sanders Law Firm and Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West, owner of West Enterprises, recipients of the President’s Awards.

4The late Earl Nichols, who served for 35 years on the league’s board, recipient of a special posthumous award.

&uot;He was a person who was very humble, very caring, very dedicated &045; a person you could always depend on,&uot; Winn said in presenting the award to Nichols’ family.

4Bettye Bell &045; veteran educator, math and science curriculum coordinator, and founder and executive director of Friends of Youth &045; recipient of the William S. Scott Civic Award.

4Janice Davis, Natchez High Star Student, track star and recipient of numerous athletic awards; and Michael Winn Jr., NHS linebacker, senior class president and Mayor’s Youth Council president, recipients of the Youth Awards.

The night also included a keynote speech by Nick Walters, director of the Department of Agriculture’s state Rural Development Office. He spoke on barriers that prevent many black, Hispanic and Asian people from owning homes &045; and on loans available through his office.