Two will be honored for community service

ST. PETERSBURG - Lonnie W. Donaldson for years has directed political campaigns, served as a Black Chamber of Commerce spokesman and in general is considered a community affairs maven.

Published February 16, 2005

His service has led a community group to honor him.

Donaldson, 60, will receive the inaugural Perkins T. Shelton Humanitarian Award at a 6:30 p.m. gathering Thursday at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S.

The event, sponsored by the African-American Voters Research and Education Committee, is free and open to the public. The keynote speaker will be county Commissioner Ken Welch.

Watson V. Haynes will speak about Shelton's life and legacy, and AAVREC chairman Vyrle Davis will present the award.

"One of the things about this community, we have a lot of good people doing a lot of civic work and we need to recognize them. There are so many of them, we need to give them flowers while they're living," Davis said.

Donaldson, who chairs the political action committee of the St. Petersburg NAACP branch, has been a Florida delegate to the Democratic national convention.

Minnie Pounds will receive the Perkins T. Shelton Unsung Hero Award for her community volunteer work.

Pounds is active in the NAACP, as a poll watcher and AAVREC stalwart.

"She is a low-key person but very active when it comes to volunteering," said Abdul Karim Ali, AAVREC co-chair.

Shelton, who died in 2003 at age 91, was a longtime political activist in St. Petersburg. He was widely known for helping to engineer single-member legislative districts and increasing County Commission membership to seven, with four elected from districts rather than countywide.