If the success of the Diversity Banquet is any indication that the Richmond County Human Relations Council is on a comeback, then it is.
The ninth Diversity Banquet drew a nearly sold-out crowd on Friday to celebrate the different cultures in Richmond County through the arts.
“Each performance added something special to the program contributing to its overall success,” said Kimberly Harrington, who co-chaired the banquet with Dot Fisher Bynum.
The Gospel Jazz Café House Band was exceptional, entertaining the audience during dinner and in between performances.
Student Alana McQueen fascinated the crowd with her energizing clog dance routine; and Carolyn Ford belted out pop tunes alongside guitarist Chuck Smith to the delight of the audience.
Heather Boone discussed local Native Americans on the Pee Dee while Roger Boone intrigued the audience with a Native American dance that accompanied a story read by Pam Easterling.
The Street Genie Trio was phenomenal, intermixing educational tidbits about Hamlet native John Coltrane and Anson County native Blind Boy Fuller with jazz tunes that kept the audience wanting more.
The group featured Rockingham native Thomasi McDonald, along with saxophonist Freddy Green and keyboardist and vocalist Yara Allen.
Master of ceremonies Bruce Stanback told the crowd the caliber of entertainment it was experiencing would normally be a $50 ticket or more in larger cities, but tickets were only $10 here.
This is in part to the banquet sponsors who helped offset expenses. They were: Gold Sponsor, Masoud Ahdieh, M.D.; Silver Sponsor, Sandhills Regional Medical Center; and Bronze Sponsors, City of Rockingham, Convenience Corner, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Foundation, Richmond County NAACP, Robinette Properties and Union County Community Action Inc.
“We have received nothing but rave reviews and are excited about the future of the Human Relations Council and the work that needs to be done,” said Bynum. “There has also been a renewed interest in membership.”
The Human Relations Council is seeking members from various ethnic backgrounds.
For more information or if you are interested in joining, call Macie McQueen, chairman, at 910-582-0312 or Dot Fisher Bynum, vice chairman, at 910-582-0848.