The Garden of Hope Community Development Corporation hosted its Annual Unity Awards Program and Harlem Renaissance Gala at the Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown on April 22 with WAVY News-10 meteorologist Deira Tate as the M.C. Musical entertainment was provided by the Michael Clark Band. The annual banquet event allows the non-profit CDC to celebrate its origins, mission and programs, as it pays tribute to community persons who are contributing to the ideals for which the CDC was founded.
This year’s honorees were Dr. Herman D. Clark, Jr., noted public school educator and Regent University professor; Brenda H. Andrews, New Journal and Guide publisher; Richard Holland, CEO and Bank Chairman for Farmers Bank; and Vickie Madison, founder and executive director of Excellence Girls Club. A special Volunteer Award was presented to retired school educator Katherine Tyler for her volunteer service to the Garden of Hope.
The Garden of Hope dates to late 2008, and the vision of Dr. Kirk T. Houston, founder and pastor of Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church. It provides social services, programs and resources to families and individuals. Among them are a mentoring program for middle school youth, a financial empowerment program; a parents leadership program; and it operates the city’s Second Chances program that provides support services for persons re-entering society after incarceration. The Garden of Hope is chaired by Dr. Houston; Alphonso Albert, Executive Director, and Sharon D. Houston, Deputy Director. Other members of the board are Warren E. Smith, J.D.; Dr. Dalphine Joppy; Travois Carnes; Dr. Victor Clark, MD, Carrie B. Waites; and Kathy Ferebee.