The East St. Louis Branch of the NAACP presented its 47th Annual Freedom Fund / Life Membership Banquet and VIP Reception on October 14, 2001 at the St. Louis Millennium Hotel. Nearly 1200 persons attended the event, at which the main speaker was famed Civil Rights leader Congressman John Lewis (of Georgia), after having been introduced by Congressman Jerry Costello (Illinois). KMOV-TV Newsman Donn Johnson was the Master of Ceremonies. Businessman Joe Wiley was the banquet general chair. His wife, Banker Marquita Wiley was co-chair. Judge Milton Wharton and Casino Queen official Dr. Cheryl Childress were coordinators. Rev. Johnny Scott is branch President. Anheuser-Busch companies hosted the VIP reception that was chaired by Dr. Katie Wright and co-chaired by Dr. Lillian Parks who presided at the reception. Rev. Annie Clark was the banquet Invoker and Benedictor.


Steering Committee of the 47th Annual NAACP Freedom Fund

Life Membership Banquet

October 14, 2001

Attorney Christopher Cueto (center) holds his plaque as he is congratulated by Congressman Costello, Judge Lloyd Cueto (his brother), Chairman Wiley and Rev. Scott

Gina Golliday was the Charles Lawson Award winner. She is pictured holding her award plaque (center).

She is being congratulated by Awards Chair Lora Jones (second left) and Awards Co-chair Sylvia Yandle (second right ) and Congressman Jerry Costello

ESL educator Katrina Thomas chaired the Essay Contest, assisted by Election Board Executive Director James Lewis, Winners Aaron Lambert (first place) standing next to Congressman Lewis then Rev. Scott; Jeanette Sutton (third place) and Helen Allen (second place) are congratulated. Young Mr. Lambert recited his essay at the banquet.

The banquet had a patriotic theme. Flags adorned the tables. Georgia Costello (Mrs. Jerry) standing at the right leads her table in waving the flags, during an inspirational moment by Dr. Cheryl Childress