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Democrats gather for awards ceremony

Area Democratic women held an awards ceremony on Saturday, May 6 using the Kentucky Derby day as a theme for the event.  The DeSoto Marshall County Federation of Democratic Women was holding an awards presentation for the first time in three years. COVID-19 had forced the cancellation of a previously planned awards luncheon, as well as in-person meetings.

Keynote speaker for the program was Greta Kemp Martin, who is the party’s nominee for Mississippi Attorney General.  

Among the awards presented on Saturday was the Ida B. Wells Educator of the Year Award to Jimmy Ella Pruitt, who taught in DeSoto County Schools for 25 years at Walls Elementary before her retirement in 2011.  

Mississippi Federation of Democratic Women president Lovie West was awarded the Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Award. West has been with the state organization the past six years and the founding president of the DeSoto-Marshall County organization.  West has served in many leadership roles in the party. Her administration has launched the Mary Katherine Brown Leadership Institute, which provides leadership certifications. She has installed four clubs; developed a financial policy and procedures manual, developed monthly/quarterly challenges, enhanced the awards program, developed a new clubs’ orientation; and created fundraisers. 

Annie Moffitt was given the Member of the Year award for her work supporting Democrats in Marshall County. 

Another award presented on Saturday is the first Gertrude Bridgeforth Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to Jay and Barbara Finn.  

DeSoto County Democratic Executive Committee Chair Deborah Williams is joined by candidates, Greta Kemp Martin, William Egner, David Olds, Sandy Kerr, Bethany Hill, James Woodard, Dianne Black, Gail Lyons, state Rep. Hester Jackson McCray, and Pamela McKelvy Hamner. Mississippi Federation of Democratic Women’s President Lovie West is also pictured. (Courtesy Kelly Jacobs)

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