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LIVING THE LEGACY
ONLINE MOVIE

Movie available to view online

on Sat., 14, 2022 at 6:00 PM

INFORMATION ON JAN. SATURDAY 13th, 2023's PROGRAM COMING SOON

BELOW IS LAST YEARS PROGRAM

LIVING THE LEGACY
DRIVE-IN MOVIE
PROGRAM BEGINS AT 6:00 PM

Opening Music.............................................................................................................................................................................. MLK Choir

Opening Remarks …………………………………...….......................Shawn Brevard, Chair, Committee for King

 

Invocation ......................................................................................................................................Leticia Gassaway (Spanish)

                                                                                                                        Rebecca Nelson (Jewish)

Tribute...................................................................................Parkway Elementary and Plantersville Elementary

Introduction of the Community Award Recipient ............................................................... Eloise Mayfield

Community Award .......................................................................................................................................................... Florine Nails

Guest Speaker......................................................................................................................................................................... Kyion White

 

Introduction of the Image Award Recipient .................................................................................... Marcus Gary

Image Award ......................................................................................................................................................................... Lee Williams

Guest Speaker.......................................................................................................................................................... David Fernandes

 

Introduction of the Drum Major Award Recipient ................................................................................. Zell Long

Drum Major Award .............................................................................................................................................. Leesha Faulkner 

 

Acknowledgments............................................................................................................................................ Ashley Armstrong

 

Closing Remarks / Benediction............................................................................................. Pastor Charles Penson
 

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KYION WHITE

Kyion White is a native of Tupelo, MS. He is the eldest son of Kourtney Depriest and Alice White. At an early age, Kyion was a devoted member of the North Mississippi Boys and Girls Club where he was a member and later a staff member. While working for Boys and Girls club he tutored, mentored and guided club members towards academic success throughout his high school years. After graduating from Tupelo High School as Mr. Tupelo High School in 2020, Kyion chose to further his educational career at the University of Mississippi pursuing his degree in Integrated Marketing and Communication. Today Kyion serves on many on campus positions at the University such as; Community Assistant for Ole Miss Housing Association, University of Mississippi Men of Excellence and serves as the Marketing Chair for the University of Mississippi Association of Black Journalists. Kyion was recently named “The Honorable Mention for Outstanding Academic Success” at the NAACP’s 2021 Annual Free Funds Banquet. He owns a photography business KapturedbyKyion LLC. In life, Kyion is most appreciative of his mother who has been his biggest support in all he has accomplished. He enjoys all his endeavors of life and plans to keep getting a step closer to success everyday. Kyion is a member of Mud Creek Missionary Baptist Church. 

DAVID FERNANDES

David Fernandes is president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc., (TMMMS) in Blue Springs, Mississippi. He is responsible for all production and administrative functions at the manufacturing facility, which produces the Toyota Corolla and represents a $1.3 billion investment.

Previously, Fernandes served as senior vice president of Toyota South Africa Motors, and as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama, Inc., where he also served as vice president.

Fernandes began his career with Toyota in 1998 at its West Virginia plant as a group leader, working his way up to assistant general manager with responsibility for the North American transmission business.  In 2008, he was assigned to the Toyota Motor North American Production Engineering group and became general manager at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc., in 2012.

Prior to his career with Toyota, Fernandes was general manager at Rolls-Royce Aircraft Engine Corporation.

David graduated from Purdue University in Indiana with a BSB in Business Administration and a BSB in Human Resource Management. He previously served on the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors, Business Council of Alabama (BCA) Board of Directors, BCA Manufacturing Advocacy Council, Committee of 100 and the University of Alabama Huntsville College of Business Advisory Board.

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COMMUNITY AWARD

FLORINE NAILS

Florine Nails was born in Tupelo, Mississippi the second sibling of 6 children. She graduated from George Washington Carver High School in 1969. She attended Itawamba Junior College for 2 years before marrying and moving to Carbondale, Illinois. She attended SIU and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts business decree.

 

Florine moved back to Tupelo and started working at Reed’s Manufacturing. While working full-time, she enrolled in Cosmetology School of Beauty. After graduating, she became a member of the Modern Beautician Club in Tupelo where she was a fashion coordinator and secretary. She later became district president for Mississippi Independent Beauticians/Barbers Association where she served 4 years. Florine also served as the state president for MIBA for 4 years. She was also a member and served as president of the cosmetology board for 3 years.

 

Florine has worked for 30+ years for the local chapter of the United Negro College Funds. She’s a member of the Heroines of Jericho and has served as a treasurer.

Currently, Florine is the president of the Modern Beautician’s Club. The group began giving out college scholarships and later expanded their giving by starting the Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship. With the help of community giving back, the scholarship has grown.  For many years, the scholarship has been her passion. It’s been important to her to help students pursue their college plans.

Florine has been a member of the choir and a Sunday School teacher for 40+ years at Red Oak Grove MB Church.

         

Florine is a very proud mother of one, Rebecca Nails-Pierce, son in law, Melvin Pierce, and one grandson, Bryson Pierce. 

IMAGE AWARD

LEE WILLIAMS

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Lee Williams was born on July 28, 1946 in Tupelo, MS.  Lee accepted Christ at an early age and joined New Lebanon Baptist Church, where he sang in the choir and played the piano.  Lee was an honor graduate and class salutatorian of the Class of 1964 at Belden High School. Lee began singing gospel musica t the age of six.  As an adult, he became the lead singer for the Spiritual QC’s, later renamed: Lee Williams and the Spiritual QC’s.  With the group, he sang and traveled the world spreading the word of God through gospel music.  The Spiritual QC’s recorded their first album, “Jesus Is Alive and Well” in 1996 catapulting them to becoming the world’s greatest quartet group.  The group is known for their hits: “I’ve Learned to Lean”, “I Can’t Give Up”, and “Cooling Water”.  Lee would always deliver a soul stirring performance, leaving his all on stage, each time. He would stand in one spot and sing until the power of the Lord came down.  He would sign autographs and take photos for fans hours before and after each performance.   After sixty-seven years of being the primary lead singer and songwriter, Lee Williams retired from public performance in 2018 in his hometown of Tupelo, MS.  In July of 2018, the City of Tupelo celebrated both his career and retirement and presented him with a key to the city.  Lee left an impact on this world that will never be forgotten.

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DRUM MAJOR AWARD

LEESHA FAULKNER

Leesha Faulkner was born in Macon, Mississippi, on Aug. 24, 1955. She finished Louisville High School in 1970. She has a bachelor’s in history and sociology with honors in anthropology from Millsaps College. She earned her master’s in history and political science at Mississippi College.

 

For more than 30 years, Leesha worked for various newspapers across the country,  earning a plethora of awards for investigative reporting, writing, and editing.

 

She returned to Tupelo by choice nearly a decade ago because Tupelo feels right. She wanted to be near her family that lives in the Jackson area and on the Gulf Coast. For a bit, she operated a blog and, after the tornado of 2014, accepted a position as communications director for the city.

 

In 2019, Leesha asked to be the curator of the Oren Dunn City Museum. History and research and writing had always been her first love.  Parks and Recreation Director Alex Farned hired her and the administration graciously granted her permission to transfer. That’s where she remains today - working with a team to tell the Tupelo Story.

 

She is grateful for the opportunity to live and work in a city with such a vast history and interesting people, present and past.