By VICKI BROWN
The Colleton County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held their 2021 Virtual Freedom Fund Celebration on Sunday, June 27th.
The speaker for the event was CEO/President Derrick Johnson of the NAACP. who spoke from a befitting theme “Rise to the Challenge! Answering the Call!”
Awards were presented to Colleton County individuals during the event. Two Community Service awards were presented during the celebration to Jimmy Wiggins and Sonya Stephens.
Jimmy Wiggins received the award for 14 years of coordinating the Colleton County Back to School Bash and for his diligence in sponsoring the summer swim camp for children in Colleton County. “I am happy to have received this award and that they think enough of me to give it to me. But it’s not about me, Jimmy Wiggins,” said Wiggins. “It’s about helping people all along the way,” he said.
Wiggins has been in law enforcement for 32 years with plans to retire maybe by the end of the year in December.
“I think it’s time. I am thankful the Lord watched over me and protected me for those 32 years, but with the way life is now and things are changing, I am ready to retire. I want to enjoy life and continue with the swim camp and back to school events for the school district,” Wiggins said.
Sonya Stephens also received the award for serving for 29 years as director of Colleton County High School Ladies of Excellence and Colleton Middle School Sisters in Action along with Boyz II Men, all of which are mentoring groups for Young adults males and females.
The NAACP Humanitarian Award was given to Mr. Johnny Holmes for his service as a United States Veteran. A very active and giving person in his county, community and Mt. Zion A.M. E. Church in Round O, Holmes is also known for his work as chairperson of Veteran Affairs in Colleton County.
Holmes has helped veterans locally and at the VA, has participated in local chapters, served on the veterans council for many years and assisted disabled veterans.
The 2021 Platinum sponsor was Senator Brad Hutto because of his generous donation to help with the cause of “Freedom Fighting”.
Mrs. Leila Williams presided over the event.
The event was viewed nationally via zoom.