NAACP honors longtime activist

Published June 8, 2005

The St. Petersburg branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented its lifetime achievement award to photographer and longtime civil rights activist Herb Snitzer on Saturday at its 72nd annual Freedom Fund award banquet.

Nearly 1,200 people filled the Coliseum for the event, which also honored community service award recipients Thomas "Jet" Jackson, who is manager of recreation programs for the city of St. Petersburg; Lounell Britt, executive director of the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center; Dr. Elinor Miranda, a St. Petersburg pediatrician; and Nathaniel and Mary Jones, longtime community volunteers and life members of the St. Petersburg branch of the NAACP.

St. Petersburg police Sgt. Joseph Dente received the outstanding police award; Safiya Miller and Justin M.B. Clarke, the outstanding youth awards.

Sue Brody, president and chief executive officer of Bayfront Health System, and Dwayne Matt of Zion Hill Mortuary were honorary co-chairs for the event, which was dedicated to the memory of the late Ernest Fillyau and Peggy Peterman, two venerable civic and civil rights leaders who died during the past year.

Darryl Rouson, who leads the group, recognized several community leaders with his President's Award, including St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker, attending with his wife, Joyce; and prosecutors Magda McSwain and Richard Ripplinger.

The crowd included numerous public officials, among them state Rep. Frank Peterman; St. Petersburg police Chief Chuck Harmon; Pinellas County Sheriff Jim Coats; Pinellas School Board member Mary Brown and her husband, Norman, the NAACP's third vice president; City Council members Jamie Bennett and Jay Lasita; and Pinellas-Pasco judges Joe Bulone, Don Horrox and Richard Luce.

Additional guests included Angela Rouson, Sharon Scott, Harry Harvey, Trenia Byrd-Cox, Linda Hardaway Watkins, Jeanne and Bill Heller, Carol Dameron, Edyth James, Kanika and Terry Tomalin, Evelyn Craft, Elise and Tom Minkoff, Lucas Fleming, Summer Vecchioli, Jennifer Schick and Poul Hornsleth.

Richard Boykin, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago, was the keynote speaker.

On the Town has been out of town for a couple of weeks and is catching up on events missed during that time.

Congratulations to the Stuart Society, whose members raised a substantial $220,000 for the Museum of Fine Arts during the past year. At the organization's May 19 annual meeting, retiring president Mary Shuh said members donated $80,000 toward the well-attended "Monet's London: Artists' Reflections on the Thames."

Another contribution, in memory of deceased Stuart Society members, went to the museum's Kenerson Library, and the remainder will go toward the museum's expansion.

Attending a celebratory luncheon afterward at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club were Carol Upham, who heads the museum's board of trustees; Roger Zeh, the museum's director of development; Joann Barger, incoming Stuart Society president; Fred Shuh; Marlene Mock; Carol Phelps; Fran Risser; Bernice McCune; Nancy H. Thomas; Bettye Black; Betty Jean Miller; Patty Gassner; Mary Jean Wall; Louise Weaver; Glenn Mosby; Jan Green; Maritza Smith; Gladys Rock; Iris Salzer; Jean D. Irwin; Priscilla Hobby; Carol Barbosa; Ginny McConnell; Jane Schaumberg; Susan Hicks; Carole Merritt; Beverly Pankonie; Lucille Wagner; Evelyn Wilty; Ann Foster; and Eric Lang Peterson.

Friends and family will remember the late Christin Creignou at 10 a.m. Saturday at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave.

Mrs. Creignou, who had ovarian cancer, died May 24, just a week after the Junior League of St. Petersburg recognized her extensive volunteer work with its Mailande Holland Barton Award. She and her husband, Jean-Paul, moved to St. Petersburg several years ago so that he could pursue his passion for sailing; his team earned a bronze medal in the Paralympic Games in Greece last year.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Junior League of St. Petersburg Endowment Fund.

--Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail park@sptimes.com P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.