Two high school students receive $1,000 scholarships during banquet
BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer
Mecca Temple No. 43 held its 60th annual Potentate Ball on Saturday, March 16, at the Premier Banquet Hall, 4480 Heatherdowns.
The event honored its current leader, Illustrious Potentate Mike Stanton. In addition, two high school seniors received scholarships.
Greg Hopkins, a past potentate as well as past imperial potentate, was master of ceremony.
Every year, Mecca Temple No. 43 members hold the Potentate Ball to honor their leader’s accomplishments during his term, which runs one calendar year, beginning in December, Hopkins said. One of the main things that stand out in his mind about Stanton is his work with the youth.
Hopkins also was excited about Homer Buchanan, the imperial potentate over 20,000 shriners in the United States and South America, was in attendance.
“It’s not often an imperial potentate can attend your events,” Hopkins said.
“Seeing all these nobles and daughters from around the country here tonight, to honor me, is truly a blessing,” Stanton said.
Since beginning his term in December, Stanton has increased the organization’s focus on his primary concern: the youth.
“Young people need things to do, that’s why I’m focusing on them,” he said.
One of the activities Mecca Temple No. 43 has for their youth is a Drum Corp, in which Stanton as well as the other members work tirelessly to raise funds so they can compete throughout the country.
In addition, Stanton is proud of their outreach program with Martin Luther King Jr. Academy for Boys, which members mentor and buy shirts and ties for the students.
Jaishawn Walker and Shayne Davis, both seniors at Central Catholic High School, received $1,000 scholarships each for their grades and volunteerism. Both students thanked Mecca Temple No. 43.
Walker carries a 3.2 grade point average and will attend Kent State University in the fall. He expressed his gratitude to Mecca Temple No. 43 for awarding him.
“It feels good to see my hard work pay off,” he said.
Davis has a 3.5 grade point average and will attend Kentucky State University in the fall.
“It feels really good to be heading into college with some money for school,” he said.
The organization also honored Noble Shawn Phelps, who is past potentate, for going above and beyond the cause during his helm.
When Hopkins was announced as the Noble of the Year, he was completely surprised and was emotional.
“This really comes as a surprise to me,” he said. “I really thank all of you for this honor.”
Also, Stanton’s family, friends and fellow brothers and daughters honored him with gifts.