New Wyandotte County District Atty. Mark Dupree and Dr. Etta Ruth Hollins, the first holder of the Kaufman Endowed Chair in Urban Education at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, received top honors at the Annual Black Men and Women of Distinction Awards program and reception held Sun., Feb. 26, at the Friends of Yates, Center, 1418 Garfield Avenue, Kansas City, KS.

Bonita Gooch, editor-in-chief of The Community Voice newspaper was honored with the Donald D. Sewing Prestigious Service Award. Their awards, and those awarded to the 26 individuals honored as Black Men and Women of Distinction, were presented in the presence of an overflow crowd.

This was the 37th year for the annual awards program that recognizes individuals who work tirelessly to become trailblazers in their professional, educational, and social aspirations.

Ashley Arnold, news anchor at KCTV 5, served as mistress of ceremony. Assisting with the awards presentations were: UG Commissioner Harold L. Johnson, Mrs. Rosalyn Brown, Deputy Chief Tyrone Garner, Major Solomon Young and Rev. Desmond Lamb.

This year, LaDora Lattimore, executive director and CEO of the friends of Yates, deservingly received an award from the Kansas City KS Chapter of the Black Professional Firefighters Association.

Other program highlights included a beautifully choreographed and delivered Praise Dance performed by the Metropolitan Angels 5-7-8- of Metropolitan Baptist Church and a wonderful selection performed by Carolyn Washington, a Friends of Yates staff member.

After the program, a tasty and robust meal was served in the facilities dining area.

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