ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Belmont County NAACP will honor three community members and host a “power couple” of speakers during this year’s Freedom Fund Dinner on Oct. 1 at 6:00 p.m. at the Belmont Hills Country Club.
Social hour begins at 5 p.m
Belmont County NAACP President Jerry Moore II said the awards will go to Abbey Maroon, who is expected to attend, and posthumously to the late Dr. John Mattox and the late Penelton “Tobay” Clark.
“The only living recipient of our awards this year would be Mr. Abbey Maroon. Because we’ve been away for so long, we felt we had to go back and honor some of the people who walked by because there was no NAACP,” Moore said, adding that the recipients had been outstanding in their respective areas of leadership. Devotion, service and loyalty to the community.
Mattox of Flushing died on July 17, 2019 at the age of 84. He was curator of the Underground Railroad Museum in Flushing, which he founded with his late wife, Rosalind. He was passionate about sharing his love of American history.
Clark served as Belmont County NAACP Vice President in the 1990s and helped ensure that Belmont County citizens were treated fairly and strived for equality and social justice. Originally from the Garfield area of Pittsburgh, he moved to Bridgeport after returning from the Korean War. He served as a policeman for the village and eventually moved to Bellaire.
Originally from Bridgeport and now based in St. Clairsville, Maroon has six decades of business development, management and entertainment operations experience.
Additionally, Maroon is a philanthropist, frequently donating food from his restaurant to local organizations, clothing to families in need, and monetary donations to organizations helping people around the world. He served in the US Coast Guard Reserves for eight years.
Moore said the NAACP is also honored to have Clement A. Akassi, a professor at Howard University in Washington, DC, and Monique L. Akassi, the DEI director and strategy coordinator at West Liberty University, as guest speakers.
“We have two dynamic speakers who are a powerful couple and this is the first time I’ve seen something like this where a man and a woman were so educated, so exemplary and so outstanding, and they’re willing to do it at the same time speak,” Moore said, adding that both are world-renowned speakers who have taught abroad in places like Spain and Brazil.
Moore said the NAACP has been active and there are many plans for the future.
“We have a lot of things on the horizon in the future,” he said.
On October 6 at 6:00 p.m., the NACCP will host a “Meet the Candidates” event at the JB Martin Rec Center in St. Clairsville, to which all candidates in the area are invited.
“We have several other events in the near future. A couple trying to bring the community together and emphasize community unity,” he said. “We welcome everyone”