NAACP Tri-County BRANCH FREEDOM AWARDS

Each year, awards are presented by the Tri-County Branch during the annual Freedom Fund Banquet to deserving individuals or organizations in the seven categories. (We are working to fill in those years for which we have no information. Please assist by notifying us if you have information about additional past recipients. Thank you.)

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MEMORIAL AWARD NAME DESCRIPTION CRITERIA
James R. Cobb Leadership Past Tri-County Branch President James R. Cobb Shows extraordinary leadership
Rev. James Hampton Youth Past Vice-President Rev. James Hampton Helps young people regardless of age
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce Service Named for Past Membership Chair Has given of personal time above and beyond employment
Professor CA Jarmon Civic Past Political Action Chair Assists the community by providing helpful information to improve conditions
Mr. William Little Humanitarian Past Sergeant At Arms Improved living conditions for others
Mr. Leroy Finch Education Past President Legal Redress Committee Must have a career in education
Bro. Ernest Cobb Religious Past Religious Committee Chair Improves the spiritual life of others (not necessarily a pastor or religious leader)

NAACP FREEDOM AWARDS PAST RECIPIENTS

NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2017
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership Kaytrina Simmons, First African American female to serve as Councilwoman in the City of Florence
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Penny Freeman, for work with Shoals Area Young People
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Sheryl Hamilton, for contributions to the Shoals community
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic Dave Smith, for contributions to the west Florence community
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian Jerry Reeves, Galilee M.B. Pastor
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian Jimmy Williams (Posthumous)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Dr. Jimmy Shaw, for offering educational support to students
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious Dr. Pastor Green Davidson III, for outstanding religious teaching and mentoring
Tori Bailey’s President’s Award Judge Johnson, for his outstanding leadership, pioneering spirit, and willingness to serve.
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2016
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership DeShannon Bowling, Leadership in Law Enforcement
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Jewel Campbell, Work with Shoals Area Young People
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Casey Eggleston, Dedication to the Shoals community
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic Darryl Aikerson Ensure educational excellence in the Shoals
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian George Johnson Tireless Service to City of Tuscumbia
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Daphne Hogan Offering educational support to students
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious Pastor Gary Rowe, Gaston Chapel P.B. Church, Religious teaching and for embracing the least of these
Tori Bailey’s President’s Award Dr. Will Boyd, Pastor St. Mark M.B. Church “who works to uplift, to serve, and to be a catalyst for positive change, and for inspiring others to do the same
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2015
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership Honorable Roger Bedford, Effective Alabama State Senator
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Dr. Felice Green, University North Alabama Professor/Mentor
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Paul E. Johnson Memorial Steppers, Cancer Awareness
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic Commander Jessie Qualls, Veterans Affairs Advocate
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian The Rev. Ronald Collier, Fatherhood Initiative
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Dr. Robert Potts, former President University North Alabama
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious The Rev. Charles Orr, Compassionate Outreach Services

Freedom Banquet Awardees 2015

Senator Roger Bedford has long been a force on the Alabama political scene. He has worked tirelessly to pass legislation to benefits not only his own constituents, but all Alabamians. He has successfully accomplished what few other elected officials on the federal or state level have been able to do, and that is work across the aisle – not allowing partisan politics to impede good and responsible government. Senator Bedford has promised to follow the will of the Lord in guiding his decisions regarding how best to continue his work to represent the citizens of Alabama. For that, we are all extremely grateful.

The Reverend Ronald Collier was nominated for his work with young African American males. His work includes the establishment of a Fatherhood Initiative which unites fathers with their children, supports paternal parental rights, and encourages financial responsibility. He is also honored for his advocacy in the courtroom, especially with area youth. Among his many other positions, the Reverend Collier also serves as president of the Lauderdale County Alabama Democratic Conference.

Dr. Robert Potts, a brilliant attorney who has served education in many ways. He worked to assist many clients while at Potts & Young Attorneys, the law firm operated by his father and, later, his younger brother, then served as Chief Attorney for the University of Alabama before aspiring to the Alabama Supreme Court. The Shoals was elated to have him return as the president of the University of North Alabama where now exists – because of his vision – a beautiful campus. While there, he was accessible both to the community, and to his students.

Dr. Felice Green continues to be an educator – in spite of the fact that she “retired” from the University of North Alabama. She both heads and serves on various committees, volunteers her time, works within Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She is a passionate advocate for literacy, and volunteers to read to area school children. She not only serves as current President of the Music Preservation Society, Inc., but is its longest serving board member. Each year, during the Handy Festival, Dr. Green presents the “ABCs of Jazz, Blues, and Beyond”. She is very likely one of the hardest working people in the Shoals. The youth truly benefit from her efforts.

Commander Jessie Qualls works tirelessly representing the Veterans Administration as an advocate for veterans of the northwest Alabama area. He provides a support system, and often transports and accompanies veterans on trips to visit health care providers. He makes sure that information about benefits are easily accessible to those who qualify by distributing the latest updates to places where veterans are likely to be. Commander Qualls also gives both advice and guidance to local veterans, and serves as a sterling example as to what a soldier should be.

NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2014
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership Evelyn Servin, Hispanic Immigration Reform
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Jamarquis Jimier Poole, outstanding student
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Danyelle Hillman, selfless community contributor
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic American Legion Color Guard, provides vets with services
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian Order Of The Eastern Star 599, community outreach
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Dr. Gail Satchel, improving education in area schools
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious Church Women United inclusion of various religions
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2013
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership Freddie Hogan, Executive Director, Mainstream Development
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Latausha Burt Robinson, CASA Advocate (Court Appointed Special Advocate)
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Lafayette Hill, Brotherhood Community Garden
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic Pastor CD Hamilton, Civil Rights Advocate
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian Sue Gordon, President Mended Hearts
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Doris Metcalf, Author and Retired School Teacher
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious Barbara Davidson, Past President Missionary Baptist District Women’s Baptist Convention
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2012
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) for Leadership Bobby Irons
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) for Youth Service Omar & Stephanie Smith
Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) for Community Service Leroy Burt
Professor C.A. Jarmon (Past Political Action Chair) for Civic Mary Stevens
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) for Humanitarian Min. Cassandra Weakley
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) for Education Shirley Douglas
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) for Religious Loving Neighbor Outreach Service (Pastor Rufus Slack)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2011
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) John Bunyan Cole
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Zuri accepted by Libby Johnson and Dianne Rowell’s sons
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Aprielle Burgess
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Dr. Flora D. Kayfan
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) Rhoda Plain
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Rod Sheppard
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) Pastor Frank Roach, Cave Springs M.B. Church
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2010
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Senator Tammy Irons
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Melody “Pam” McVay
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Alpha Pi Chi Sorority, Kappa Phi Chapter
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Catherine Sledge
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) Tori Bailey
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Dorothy Hardy
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) Brother Michael Roberts
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2009
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Sam Pendleton, past NAACP president
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Charlene Freeman
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Dr. Wayne Stanley
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Sylvester White, Mgr. Social Security Office
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) UNA Habitat For Humanity Volunteers
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Clyde Goode, Educator
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) Pastor George Granville
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2008
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Mt. Olive M.B. Church
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2007
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2006
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Mary Andrews
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Pete Key
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Freedom Riders Club
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Ladies Aux VFW
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) Chris Connerly
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Ella McElroy
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) St. James Special Chorus
President’s Award Alpha Phi Alpha Kappa Nu Chapter
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2005
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2004
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2003
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Tom Magazzu, for outstanding services rendered in civic activities to the citizens of the Shoals area
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2002
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) W.C. Handy Headstart Center
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2001
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Captain Spence Butler, Florence Police Department
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Chucky Mullins Community Center
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Charles Ricks, owner of Ace Variety & Mr. C’s Market
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Shaler Roberts, III, Executive Director of Florence Housing Authority
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) William L. McDonald, Shoals Area Historian
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Fredonia Williams, Principal of Weeden Middle School
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair) Leonard Skipworth, Program Director at WZZA Radio
President’s Award Bobby E. Irons, Reynolds/Wise Aluminums
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 2000
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Robert Potts
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President) Twenty Distinguished Men of the Shoals
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) American Red Cross of Northwest Alabama
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Betty Hillman, manager Colonial Bank, Sheffield
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) Hospice of the Shoals
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee) Otis Johnson, Sheffield Junior High School Principal
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1999
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1998
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President) Jerry Groce, Russellville City Councilman
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair) Audrey McDaniel, Florence Housing Authority
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms) Safeplace, Inc
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)

Also in 1998 these people were honored:

  • Mr. Coy Johnson, Chair Florence Housing Authority Board improved community relations - better public housing programs
  • Mrs. Ella McElroy, President Musle Shoals Alumnae Chapter DeltaSigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for Ebony Fashion Fair
  • Dr. Jacqueline Osborne, Director of UNA Kilby Child Development Center
  • Mrs. Deborah McMurtrie, Coffee High School Teacher for commitment to diversity
  • Mr. John L. Buddy Aldridge, Colbert County Sheriff
  • Mr. Bobby Brown, Russellville Community Coordinator for support of law enforcement activities
  • Mrs. Alice Davis, Retired Teacher of Sheffield City School System
  • Mr. Alfred Hamilton, President Franklin County Voter’s League and ADC Chapter
  • Rev. Alozno Groce, Retired pastor of Mt. Moriah MB Church
  • Mr. Huston Cobb, Jr., member of UNA Board of Trustees
  • Mr. Luther Irons, long time political veteran with the Democratic Party
  • Mr. Jame E. Johnson, Mr. Howard Gunn, Mr. Lewis J. Goodloe, and Mr. Thomas Freeman for attending Million Man March in Washington DC on October 16th, 1996
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1997
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1996
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1995
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair) Ullysess “Foots” Burt
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1994
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1993
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)
NAACP Tri-County Freedom Award Title Recipient 1992
James R. Cobb (Past Tri-County Branch President)
Rev. James Hampton (Past Vice-President)
Rev. Alozo & Mrs. Rosie B. Groce (Past Membership Chair)
Professor C.A. Jarmon(Past Political Action Chair)
Mr. William Little (Past Sergeant At Arms)
Mr. Leroy Finch (Past President Legal Redress Committee)
Bro. Ernest Cobb (Past Religious Committee Chair)