Atlanta, GA. 1/29/13 – The Grand Ballroom on the 4th floor of the Westin Buckhead was abuzz with activities recently when over ten noted Atlanta and Southeast Leaders from Law to Business were honored. The ceremony was hosted by The Dukes Foundation as the celebrated ten years of youth mentoring in Atlanta. Numerous Business and Civic Leaders from Alabama, Arkansas, North and South Carolina and metropolitan Atlanta were in attendance.
The organization responsible for transforming the lives of many youth in Atlanta and assisting many families during hardships is The Dukes Foundation. It was formed in Atlanta by an Educator who saw the need to give hope to “At Risk” Young men. Today there is evidence of numerous academic achievers.
The ceremonies commenced with the introduction of the Mistress of Ceremonies was Ms. Melissa Long, 11 Alive TV News Anchor/Reporter by Attorney at Law, Dr. Charleston Carter. This was followed by invocation led by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuel, Senior Pastor of Victory Church. The Keynote Speaker Al Duncan, an award-winning youth advocate, publisher, and internationally recognized authority on soft skills spoke of the benefits of Mentoring and encouraged the Guests to support the Mentees and other Youth. Ten Honors and Awards were presented to outstanding Leaders from diverse disciplines. Noted Presenters included ; Ms. Erica Byfield, WSB TV Channel 2 Reporter , Attorney F. Rene Gaters, Dr. Kevin Flythe, Rev. Dr. William Flippin, Sr. , Rev. Herman ‘Skip’ Mason, he electrified the audience during the introduction of Honoree, Royal Funeral Home. Mr. Gerald Dupre, Jr., a Corporate Executive, Mr. Clayton Bell, President, ISS, Mr. Don Weston, a Ford Motor Company Manager, Mr. Frank McCullough, General Manager, Mezlan Shoes Atlanta and Attorney at Law, Evelyn Coats who is a member of the Board of Directors of The Dukes Foundation and The Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta.
11 Alive Community Service Awardee and Founder & Chief Executive Officer of The Dukes Foundation, Horace Dukes welcomed and expressed gratitude to supporters and Honorees. He also reminded the audience that “Everyone has looks up to someone every day. Whether it is their mother, father, athlete, businessman or performer, the youth we serve hear everything and see everything and hold tight the words we use so we should be careful in what we express because you never know who is watching you”.
Honorees were elated at their recognition. This list of the esteemed group included; Mr. John Deushane, General Manager & President, WXIA TV , Mr. Antonio Dozier , President & Chief Executive Officer of TDCSI, Mrs. David Jones-Smith, President, Royal Funeral Home, Dr. Percy Mack, Superintendent, Richland County School District 1, Mr. Michael Baskin, Attorney at law, Founder, Baskin Law Group, Rev Victor D. Tate. Representing Mr. Solon Patterson, Chairman, Montag & Caldwell was his Executive Assistant, Liza Hare. A Mentee accepted retired Executive Director of Trees Atlanta, Mrs. Marcia Bansley honor. Both are travelling overseas. Others that received recognition included Ms. Cassie Nelson, outstanding Volunteer & member of the Administration Department Scotts Branch High School, Mrs. Bessie Nobles, Entrepreneur & Restaurateur and Jay Hobbs, a Mentee who has maintain a 4.0 GPA over the past three years. He received the Gerald Dupre. Jr Award for Academic Excellence.
Jay Hobbs, a Mentee introduced himself, his academic achievements and his career goals in English, Japanese and Spanish. He later played a special tribute to the guests on the Grand Piano. His performance followed the introduction to guests of forty Mentees individually by themselves. Their earlier uniformed entrance made a noted mark. This and Hobbs’ performance was punctuated with applause and standing ovation. Dr. Richard Morgan, A member of the Board of Directors presented Mr. Bill Manson, Market Development Director of the American Cancer Society a check on behalf of the Mentees who fundraised to continue their annual contribution to Pediatric Cancer Research.
Dr. Derrick Beech, Senior Assistant Dean at Morehouse School of Medicine represented the College and confirmed the institutions intent to develop a partnership. The Dukes Foundation currently hosts Saturday Academy at the Department of Physics at Morehouse College.
The audience was delighted with presentations of art prints by the Mentees and the delivery of poetry by Derrick Standifer. Other officers of The Dukes Foundation included; Ms. Diedre Williams, Mr. Ian Ash, Mr. Gregory Bailey and Mr. Solomon Jefferson.
In his expression of appreciation Public Relations Director and a former Mentee, Tuqwan Jordan identified several individuals for their support of The Dukes Foundation;
Mr. Carlos Jones, Mr. Michael Simms of Inspired Knots, Dr. Carole Williams, Mr. Phil Chan, Ms. Rosenberg, Ms. Jasmine Johnson, Ms. Alicia Wylie , General Manager, Westin Hotel Buckhead, Mr. Itay Shimoney, Director Tiffany & Company, Atlanta and Mr. Daryl Thompson.
On January 27, 2013 the Mentees closed the Foundation’s National Mentoring Month activities by worshipping at Saint Philip Church, 240 Candler Rd in Decatur in celebration of National Mentoring Month. Mr. David Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer, MENTOR, the network of Mentoring Partnerships across the country sent a message of congratulations to the Dukes Foundation on a decade of service to metropolitan Atlanta and, especially, to the young men mentored. Mentees will be contributing articles about the life enrichment programs of the Dukes Foundation in a book to be released later this year. The organization will be host to an Oratorical Program this spring.
THE DUKES FOUNDATION (CORPORATION)
For additional information call 404-419-6452, email dukesfoundation@
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