The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., recently presented 27 of Pine Bluff's outstanding and distinguished young men during its 26th annual Red and White Delta Distinguished Gentlemen's Banquet, held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

The Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., recently presented 27 of Pine Bluff’s outstanding and distinguished young men during its 26th annual Red and White Delta Distinguished Gentlemen’s Banquet, held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

The theme for this year’s banquet was “Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence.”

Monte Coleman, head football coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, was the keynote speaker. Coleman became the 19th head coach in UAPB history on Nov. 19, 2007, and immediately began to return the Golden Lion football program to the upper echelon of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Over the past several months, the young men participating in this year’s event have been involved in various activities that were strategically planned and held in preparation for their debut. All activities are designed to strengthen the gentlemen’s moral, cultural and spiritual value and to nurture their desire to continue to strive for academic excellence. Activities have included the EMBODI Workshop, participating in Salvation Army bell ringing, attending Handel’s “Messiah”, church fellowship with Full Counsel, dinner with escorts, parents and members of Delta Sigma Theta and informational sessions presented by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Graduate Chapter.

Walter Ashley III, a senior at Pine Bluff High School, was recognized as the young gentleman raising the highest amount of money and was named Mr. Delta Distinguished Gentleman 2013. Walter is the son of Danita Ashley and the late Walter Ashley Jr.

The first runner-up was Marc Carlock, a senior at PBHS. Marc is the son of Valerie Crosby and Mark Carlock.

Second runner-up was awarded to Ji’Marrius Edwards, also a senior at PBHS. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. Charles Creal.

Academic awards were presented to:

• First place — Xavius Hymes, son of Denise LaGrant and the late Ronnie Hymes, senior White Hall High School;

• Second place — Demetrius Anderson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Troy Anderson, PBHS;

• Third place (tie) — Brandon Jolly, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Allen, Watson Chapel High School; and Evan Murry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Sanders, WCHS.

“Mr. Together” was awarded to Jamison Murry, son of Rev. and Mrs. James Murry. Jamison is a senior at PBHS.

During the presentation, each gentleman received a plaque.

Other Distinguished Gentlemen participants included:

• Keifer Beckford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Keifer Beckford, PBHS

• Brandon Bland, son of LaRhonda Sullivan and Mr. Lee Bland, PBHS

• Anthony Brown Jr., son of Jacquelyn Wilson, PBHS

• Keenon Coleman, son of Felicia Coleman and the late Carnell Coleman, WHHS

• Jamaal Courtney, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Courtney, WCHS

• Charlie Donnerson, son of Trena Rusley, PBHS

• Brandon Grant, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Grant, PBHS

• Deandre Gridley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Gridley, PBHS

• Davonte Jenkins, son of Theresa Bankston, PBHS

• Anthony Johnson, son of Pamela Johnson-Buckley, Dollarway High School

• Trevon Jones, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Shaw, WCHS

• Darrian Kee, son of Carla Borkins and Darrell Kee, PBHS

• Breon Lambert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Jackson, PBHS

• RaKeem Leverett, son of Paula Woolfolk and John Leverett, PBHS

• QuaVonte’ Morgan, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Morgan, PBHS

• Oscar Ridgle, son of Mr. and Mrs. Osco Ridgle, WHHS

• Kelvin Sergeant, son of Dora Sergeant and Kelvin Sergeant Sr., PBHS

• Brandon Starks, son of Onico Criner and Kenneth Starks, PBHS

• Taraen Taylor, son of Tara Hernandez, PBHS

The chairs for this year’s event were Dora Sanders and Linda Richardson.

Charlene Kelley is the president of the Pine Bluff Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.