Masons distribute scholarships at banquet

By Jaymie Baxley

March 18, 2014

LUMBERTON — The Golden Leaf Masonic Lodge 124 awarded 12 scholarships to students across Robeson County during its annual Milton F. Fitch Sr. Scholarship Banquet and Gala on March 22.

The event ran from 4 until 8 p.m. and drew an audience of more than 400 people to the Bill Sapp Recreation Center in Lumberton.

The scholarships, which ranged from $250 to $500, were given in memory of slain Lumberton police Officer Jeremiah Goodson, who was shot to death while attempting to serve a warrant in 2012. His son, Tryin Hueston Goodson, a student at Lumberton High School, was awarded a scholarship.

Other recipients included Daniel Devin Robinson Jr. and Maurice Townsend, students at North Carolina A&T State University; Daquan McLean, a student at Livingston College; Laney M. McIntosh, a student at Colorado Technical University; Rolanda Richardson, a student at Robeson Community College; Augustos Floyd, a student at Robeson Early College; Burnette Bradley, Shabreya Vample and Dustin Canady, students at Lumberton High School; and Kecia Powell and Keniston Skipper, students at W.H. Knuckles Elementary.

Before the scholarships were awarded, Rep. Larry D. Hall, who represents District 29 in Durham and serves as leader of the North Carolina Democratic Caucus, delivered a presentation centered around education.

“I often say that it is a blessing to be Democratic leader, and I want to repeat that because if some of my remarks sound partisan tonight, they probably are,” he said before criticizing various statewide cuts to education funding.

“We cut 5,200 teachers, 4,800 teacher assistants, took half a million from the total education fund, and reduced teacher pay,” he said. “That’s not an investment in our youths and it is not an investment in your future.”

Hall later encouraged the audience to vote in the upcoming election.

“A lot of people have been talking about the presidential election in 2016, but if you don’t get involved in 2014, you might as well stay home in 2016,” he said. ”You will be participating in a crime against the future if you don’t vote, and get everyone you know to vote, in 2014.”