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Eureka Arts Federated Club hosts first holiday gala

Women lauded for their leadership in Jeff Davis County (l to r) Bettie Drummond, Gwendetta Magee, Queen Sutton, Charlene Fairley, Grace Grubbs and William Mae Laird.

Women lauded for their leadership in Jeff Davis County (l to r) Bettie Drummond, Gwendetta Magee, Queen Sutton, Charlene Fairley, Grace Grubbs and William Mae Laird.

The Eureka Arts Federated Club ushered in the holiday season with a tribute to the legacy of women leadership in Jefferson Davis County, at the first formal affair inside the pristine Rosenwald restoration at Prentiss Institute, on the evening of Dec. 6, 2013.

The honorees, their family members and friends, robed in shimmering colors and fine apparel, filled an auditorium aglow with lights and enchanting sounds, despite having driven there in a torrent of rain.

Seated around elegant dinner tables, draped in gold and white fare, the honorees were exalted for their contributions in an assortment of musical performances and commendations.

Edna White, president, Miss. State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, and a distinguished Eureka Club member, with husband Howard.

Edna White, president, Miss. State Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs, and a distinguished Eureka Club member, with husband Howard.

Minister and vocalist Billy Ray Womack offered selections of praise and thanksgiving. Over a dinner featuring prime rib roast, Mississippi folk guitarist Jesse Robinson performed a soothing medley of jazz instrumentals.

Topping off the evening, the honorees were each presented with roses (wrapped to keep fresh in the damp weather) and plaques signed by Eureka Arts Club officers. The local women’s club is one of the oldest of its kind in the state, and is devoted to service, dignity, and high morals, as bespeaks its motto, “Lifting as we climb.”

Though some of the honorees were unable to attend, they included Bettie Drummond, Kathy Cloyd, Charlene Fairley, Grace Grubbs, Rosie Hooker, Willie Mae Laird, Gwendetta Magee, Lee Price, Wyvette Polk, Linda Speight, Queen Sutton and Bernice Williams.

E. Jeanne Polk, president, Eureka Arts Federated Club, greeted patrons at the reception.

E. Jeanne Polk, president, Eureka Arts Federated Club, greeted patrons at the reception.

ctor Gary Grubbs, the son of honoree Grace Grubbs, with gala attendees Shirley Lewis, Rosie Powell (middle) and Chellie Payne.

ctor Gary Grubbs, the son of honoree Grace Grubbs, with gala attendees Shirley Lewis, Rosie Powell (middle) and Chellie Payne.