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VOL. 129 | NO. 70 | Thursday, April 10, 2014

Women’s Foundation Honors Five Legends

By Don Wade

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The list of Legends Awards honorees keeps growing. Since 2009, the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis will have honored 32 women with the addition of this year’s five Legends Award honorees. This year’s honorees range in age from 86 to 97 but, if anything, their vast years of experience have served as an inspiration to younger women.

The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis will honor five Legends Award honorees at its April 17 Legends Award Reception.

(Brenda Bryant)

“There is encouragement, ‘I can make a contribution and I should,’” said Women’s Foundation executive director Ruby Bright. “I should do something that leaves a positive mark on the community.”

This year’s honorees have certainly done that. They will be recognized at the Thursday, April 17, Legends Award Reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Columns at One Commerce Square, 40 S. Main St. Individual seats cost $75 and tables are $600.

A week later, on April 24, the Women’s Foundation will hold its Annual Tribute Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Individual seats are $125 and tables are $1,250. This serves as the nonprofit organization’s primary fundraiser. The keynote speaker will be actor, dancer and director Jasmine Guy.

The Youth Leadership Forum follows the event, and is held from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the events, or to register and purchase seating, go to www.wfgm.org or call 578-9346.

This year’s honorees and a snapshot of their contributions to the local community:

Nancy Bogatin: She was one of the few white women who marched in the 1968 Sanitation Strike. Bogatin also was the first female board chair of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She helped lay the foundation for the Memphis Literacy Council and worked hard to implement Shelby County Books from Birth.

Dr. Erma Clanton: In the 1970s, she was one of the first African-American faculty members at the University of Memphis. Clanton is recognized as the “Matriarch of Black Theater” in Memphis. She wrote, directed and produced a musical, “An Evening of Soul,” and is chairperson of the Evening of Soul Foundation and a 25-year member of the NAACP.

Frances Dancy Hooks: She is a founding member of the Women’s Foundation of Greater Memphis. The wife of the late Benjamin L. Hooks, she formed Women in the NAACP (WIN) with Earleen Bolden in 1980. She has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Rhodes College, the Memphis Symphony League and the National Scholarship Fund for Negro Students.

Mary Shainberg: Well-known for her humanitarianism and philanthropy, she still volunteers two days a week – leading hospital tours at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and archiving files at Temple Israel. The Herbert and Mary Shainberg Neuroscience Research Fund established at Le Bonheur in 1996 has helped thousands of children.

Modeane Thompson: In the 1960s she co-founded the Memphis Panel of American Women, an interracial group of women who publicly addressed racial and religious prejudice. She is a lifetime member of the NAACP and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. In 2006, she was one of several honorees recognized by the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati.

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