2006-03-03 / Community

PO, Church Join For Black History Month

The United States Post Office and a local church teamed up last week to honor Black History Month and to reveal a new, local cancellation to a national stamp honoring Hattie McDaniel, famous black actress.

On Friday February 24, Postmaster George P. Buonocore, Ray Slagus, Manger of the Arverne Station, Scott Klein, Customer Service Coordinator, and the Rev. Charles L. Norris Jr., Supervisor of the Rockaway Beach Station shared in the celebration of Black History Month at the Macedonia Baptist Church of Arverne, by unveiling the recently released Hattie McDaniel’s stamp. Rev. Evan D. Gray, Pastor, and Lionel Evelyn, of the Negro National Baseball League were honored with plaques by Buonocore, for demonstrating positive leadership in the African-American Community and for overcoming adversity and breaking barriers.

The Church was also honored by the Postmaster a special cancellation stamp to make it the Macedonia Baptist Church Station for a day.

A special cachet envelope with a picture of the church and the Hattie McDaniel’s stamp was specially canceled that day with this special stamp, which is available at all post offices in the Rockaway’s until March 24, 2006, when the cancellation expires.

Rev Charles L. Norris Jr, who presided over the celebration, also rendered a heart-felt selection entitled, “If I Can Help Somebody.”

The celebration was attended by the Macedonia family, staff members of the Far Rockaway Post Office, and the community.

Guest’s included, Total Praise Dance Ministry, who ministered in dance, from the St. John Baptist Church of Inwood LI, where the Rev. Gregory K. Stanislaus is the Pastor, and Pastor Gray, one of the youngest Pastors in the Rockaway area, who acknowledges and recognizes the commitment it takes to build a community starting with his youth programs.

He also acknowledges the need for adult homes as well, is now in the process of building one from the ground up.

The keynote speaker for the program was C. Virginia Fields, former Manhattan Borough President. She encouraged the members and community about the importance of being positive role models by striving ahead through the racial adversities that still exist.

She presented a strong platform in challenging the church and the community to create at least one health care initiative or program that will create a better health care environment for the church members.

The evening was topped off by the members of the church taking their already memorable cachet envelope and turning them into a collectable item by acquiring the autograph of Lionel Evelyn, a Professional Negro National Baseball League player, from 1948 to 1959, and a Rockaway resident for many years.

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