Sarah Robinson was crowned Mother of the Year at the NAACP Gulfport Branch Annual Gala at Good Deeds Community Center on Saturday night.
Robinson was selected from a field of four contestants who represented their churches from throughout the city.
Robinson represented First Missionary Baptist Church.
“I felt proud that I was able to represent my church family,” said Robinson. “I was really shocked that I won. I was glad to have my family and my church family there.”
A crowd of 280 people, including adults and young people, were in attendance for the program that honored all women through the theme: Equality for Women is Progress for All.
Guest speaker Ingalls Shipbuilding Community Relations Manager Dorothy DuBose Shaw delivered an inspirational message that complimented and encouraged all people to go after dreams, saying, “There is no dream too big to make real.
“Let us begin to see people from the inside out, not the outside in. Let’s begin to celebrate the differences between us.
“Women, we should never be the question in the workplace; we should be the answer.”
Gulfport NAACP president Gary Fredericks said he was pleased with the evening.
“We had a vision to change the footprint,” Gary Fredericks said. “We wanted to encourage community. We have a lot of corporate sponsors that allow us to do this. Companies like Island View and Beau Rivage give us the capability to give back to the community.”
Gary Fredericks also recognized Mississippi Power Company and The Port of Gulfport as sponsors.
“The mother is the cornerstone of the footprint, certainly in the African American community,” said Gary Fredericks regarding the importance of honoring mothers. “This gives us another opportunity to say thanks.”
Former District 119 state representative Frances Fredericks was a special honoree at the event.
The other contestants were Tanishka Moore of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Michella McRee of True Deliverance Outreach Ministry and Sedunitha Robinson of Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church.
“It is great fellowship,” said Deloris Cannon, MOY chairperson and former Mother of the Year. “The contestants bring a lot of people out, family, friends and fellow church members. It makes for a wonderful event, from the planning to what you see tonight. It has been a wonderful experience.”