NAACP Honors Locals with Freedom Fund Award

Courtesy of The Coaster
Monday, March 9, 2015

The Asbury Park-Neptune NAACP honored nine local organizations and individuals with the chapter's highest annual recognition of work towards equality and civil rights, the Freedom Fund Award, on Saturday.

"This year's honorees are working to change lives and achieve equality regardless of race, religion or gender," said Adrienne Sanders, chapter president.

To great applause at the ceremony, Sanders spoke about the spectrum of short and long-term impact each of the honorees have made in the Asbury Park and Neptune communities.  She also highlighted the obstacles local youth face and shared memories of her own childhood in the area, inspiring the room to further help create awareness and change.

"It was wonderful to see people doing so much important work get the spotlight they deserve," said Dr. Denise Johnson Miller, breast surgeon at Meridian Cancer Care and Freedom Fund recipient.  "Every honoree was inspiring to my husband and I.  There are many, many healthcare workers doing lots of real good for the community here.  I was humbled and grateful to receive the award this year from the NAACP."

The Freedom Fund Award began nationally in 1953 as a way to pay tribute to the life of Medgar Evers who lost his life working towards "complete" emancipation.

"We are grateful for our work towards safe, simple, affordable housing to be recognized by the (NAACP)," said Maureen Mulligan, executive director of Coastal Habitat for Humanity, a Freedom Fund Award recipient.  "Safe, simple, affordable housing changes lives and this award encourages and inspires us to work even harder to give more local families a hand up."

In addition to Dr. Miller and Coastal Habitat, the Asbury Park-Neptune NAACP honored the Asbury Park VFW 1333, Neptune VFW 2639, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, The Center's Rev. Bob Kaeding and Clark Shannon, Wayne Boatwright of Meridian Hospital and Bishop Martin Luther Johnson of the Mount Olive Holy Temple Church.