The Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announces plans for its 27th annual Dove Freedom Fund Banquet.


The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The theme is “Challenging the Past-Changing the Future,” according to a news release.


According to the release, generous support of corporate, business, civic and community partners has allowed the Pine Bluff Branch of the NAACP to be successful in making a difference in the community by:


• Providing scholarships for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Southeast Arkansas students;


• Sponsoring health, veterans affairs, job fairs, political forums, education and voter education/registration, and


• Advocating to eliminate racial prejudice, to improve the political, educational, social, economic status and quality of life for the community.


“The Dove Freedom Fund Banquet is our major means of raising revenue to continue these vital programs,” according to the release.


“The Pine Bluff Branch NAACP is known nationwide for our award winning programs and our commitment to justice and civil rights for all citizens. We continue to hold the honor of being the largest branch in the state of Arkansas. The branch supports a youth council for students ages 12 to 18 and a college chapter at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff,” according to the release.


The community is invited to support the efforts. Banquet sponsorships are available. Participants may also purchase advertisements in the souvenir booklet and buy tickets.


Banquet tickets are $40.


Sponsorship levels include diamond level - $7, 500; emerald level - $5,000; platinum level - $3,500; gold level - $2,000; silver level - $1,000; bronze level - $400 and patron level - $320.


Ad prices include full page, $125; half page, $75; and quarter page $50.


All ads for the souvenir booklet must be camera-ready and turned in by Friday, Sept. 21. Ads should be sent to gkelsey_67@hotmail.com or marylddll@yahoo.com. All items, including photos are non-returnable. Payments for the sponsorships are due by Sept 28.


Details: event coordinators, Mary Liddell, 870-643-2383 or Piccola Washington, 870-543-9978; or NAACP President Ivan Whitfield, 870-643-7252.