Niagara Gazette — The LaSalle Education Club is celebrating 45 years of sponsoring college scholarships to high-achieving senior graduates at its next awards presentation, set for 6 p.m. June 13 at Antonio’s Banquet and Conference Center, 7708 Niagara Falls Blvd.
Kendra Eaglin of Channel 7 News will be the master of ceremonies and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will be the keynote speaker.
The organization is unique, says organizers, in that it involves elementary students as well. Students from kindergarten through sixth grade are taking part in the ceremony, from welcoming guests, to introducing honorees to performing songs and the invocation and benediction.
The club has experienced a gradual decline but it is not affecting the mission. Ron Hamilton, a 1989 recipient of the club’s LaSalle Education scholarship knows first-hand the enormous expense of college. Hamilton wanted to give back to those who helped him and his childhood mentor Pete Ivey, so he began the $500 Edward “Pete” Ivey Memorial Scholarship in 2011.
Other recent community scholarships were $500 from the Niagara Falls NAACP; the $500 Theodore Williamson Education Memorial Scholarship and the $500 Richard Lee Jones Scholarship.
Nathan A. Dolson Jr., a member of the social motorcycle club Urban Legendz and a huge supporter of the LaSalle Education Club passed away in August of 2013. The motorcycle club has since started the $500 Nathan A. Dolson Jr. Leadership Scholarship.
It’s that kind of donation that keeps the club going strong, not to mention the outpouring of help from the community, local churches and individuals like retired educator Lillie P. Stephens and Carolyn Holder who attend the event every year.
As part of this year’s scholarship and awards presentation, the club will recognize teachers Yolanda Williamson and Dawn Secic. Lenice Betton and Roy Betton will receive the Humanitarian Award. These four individuals in their special way, contribute to the growth of the city and education of the children.