The Lebanon County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host its annual Black History Month Freedom Fund Gala from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 in the second-floor ballroom of the WEPA Empowerment Center at 9 S. 9th St., Lebanon.

The event will feature a soul food dinner served by Aunt Hocker’s Fish Fry, music by the Michael Kitchen Band, a recap of the year’s highlights, a complimentary adult beverage and cash bar, dancing, and more. The featured speaker this year will be Sherry Roland-Washington, an educator, community leader, owner of SRW Consulting Firm LLC, and chair of the education committee for the NAACP Pennsylvania State Conference.

“We are delighted to host this very special event celebrating the history and achievements of Black people and people of color here in Lebanon County,” said Lori Burrus, chair of the Lebanon County NAACP’s Black History Month 2024 Planning Committee. “We are also very grateful for the generosity of our business and community sponsors, and especially heartened by the support of so many Black-owned businesses in the region.”

The cost is $50 per person, payable by cash, a check payable to “Lebanon County NAACP” and mailed to P.O. Box 74, Annville PA, 17003, or by credit or debit card through the BetterWorld payment platform.

According to a release from branch secretary Michael Schroeder, gala sponsors to date include the WEPA Empowerment Center, UPMC, Capital Blue Cross, Visit Lebanon Valley, Yoga for Kids, WellSpan Health, HACC, Bennett Automotive Group, Lebanon Family Health Services, SARCC, Salem United Church of Christ, Million Dollar Shot$, E&E Discount Beer Warehouse, and Mark & Val Wines. Sponsorship opportunities will be available until Monday, Feb. 12.

Branch president Pastor Tony Fields said the event draws inspiration from “Dr. King’s unwavering commitment to equality and justice for all Americans” and invites the community “to join us in celebrating the achievements of Black people in our community and the ties that bind us all together as a nation.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP has a mission “to achieve equity, political rights, and social inclusion by advancing policies and practices that expand human and civil rights, eliminate discrimination, and accelerate the well-being, education, and economic security of Black people and all persons of color.” More information can be found on the branch website.

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