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Meridianites picnic comes home in June

By Staff
special to The Star
March 28, 2004
More than 3,000 former Meridian residents are expected to head south this year to attend the 38th Annual National Council of Meridianites Inc. Convention and Picnic.
The annual event, set for June 23-26, returns to Meridian once every five years.
Headquarters will be Howard Johnson's, where most activities will take place.
The picnic will be June 26 at Highland Park and the Juneteenth Heritage Golf Tournament will be June 25 at the Ponta Creek Golf Course at Naval Air Station Meridian.
Programs of the National Council of Meridianites Inc. include the annual Roots Scholarship, given to deserving qualified students in each of the council's five regions Northern, Eastern, Midwest, Southern and Western.
The 2003 recipients from the Southern region were Khaleah M. Naylor, a student at Xavier University in New Orleans, and Clarett Y. Reed, a student at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The awards program recognizes members from the 17 Meridian chapters that have exhibited outstanding service to their chapters. The memorial service commemorates members who have passed since the last convention and picnic.
The National Council of Meridianites and its Jacquelyn Sweeter Caffey Foundation aims to establish an endowment to create a permanent source of financial support for the scholarship program.
The foundation currently awards a $2,000 scholarship to the winner of its national essay contest. Recent winners from the Southern Region are Latsha Perrien, 2001, a student at Grambling University, and Nicholas Trotter, 2002, a student at USM.
The National Council of Meridianites/Jacquelyn Sweeter Caffey Foundation Scholarship Luncheon has become the highlight of the annual convention.
The speaker for the 2004 luncheon will be Ed Lynch, a Meridian native who attended Meridian public schools and Meridian Community College. He is a certified purchasing manager.
Lynch is a member of the Meridian School Board and currently serves as vice-president. He owns and operates The Art Connection Gallery, Gift &Frame Shop, which specializes in art, prints, original artwork, books and greeting cards by black artists.
Lynch is married to Gail Lynch and is the father of six sons. He has received numerous awards including the local NAACP's Entrepreneur of the Year and its Man of the Year awards.
All those attending the convention and picnic are invited and welcome to attend the luncheon. The cost is $30. All proceeds help fund the foundation's scholarship program. Tickets may be purchased at The Council of Organizations Inc. Building, 814 45th Ave., Meridian, MS 39307.
For further information on the golf tournament, call Gloria Willis at (601) 693-3421.
Members from all chapters of the National Council of Meridianites Inc. carry and wear special colors to the picnic. The colors are:
Meridian: Maroon and gold
Atlanta-Metro Area Meridianites: Peach and blue
Los Angeles Area Meridianites: Blue and white
Northern California Area
Meridianites: Orange and white
Berkeley-Oakland Area
Meridianites: Black and grey
Viva la Meridianites: Blue and white
Chicago Area Meridianites: Red and white
Chicago Social Pals Meridianites: Red and white
Cincinnati Meridianites: Yellow and white
Detroit Meridianites: Green and white
New York Meridianites: Black and white
NY-NJ-CT Meridianites: Fuchsia, purple and grey
Milwaukee Meridianites: Pink and green
St. Louis Area Meridianites: Yellow and brown
Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
Meridianites: White