WRAL-TV & CBC Help Triangle Urban League Celebrate First Annual Legends Gala

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Loretta Harper-Arnold & Dr. Johnetta B. Coles
WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold (left) poses with her she-ro, Dr. Johnnetta B. Coles, President of Bennett College & an honoree at the event.

On Friday, February 16, 2007, WRAL-TV proudly served as the presenting sponsor for the 1st Annual Legends Gala.   The Triangle Urban League organized the black-tie fundraising event in the spirit of Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Ball.  Held at the Embassy Suites in Cary, the evening event celebrated the accomplishments of outstanding African-Americans in the state. 

“It was a star-studded evening with the legendary and up-and-coming legends,” said WRAL-TV Community Relations Director Loretta Harper-Arnold.  “The Triangle Urban League described the Legends honorees as individuals who have served and continue to serve as a ‘bridge to now’.”

The list of honorees included J.D. Lewis, a legend who held several different positions at WRAL-TV and CBC.  He was long a staple on the airwaves at WRAL-TV and served as CBC’s first Human Resources Director.  Lewis was unable to attend the event due to failing health and, in fact, died the next day.  But his legend lives on.

The honorees included:

Honorees The honorees of the evening include Legends (front row, l to r) Dr. LeRoy Walker, Dr. Johnetta B. Coles, Bruce Lightner, Mildred “Mama Dip” Council, and Legends in the Making (back row, l to r) Gabby Mayo, Anita Brown-Graham, Candyce Marsh, Walter Royal & Cullen Jones.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

  • Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole – President of Bennett College for Women
  • Dr. LeRoy T. Walker – President emeritus of the U.S. Olympic Committee and former track coach at NC Central
  • Shirley Caesar – Grammy-winning Gospel singer & Mount Calvary Word of Faith Holy Church Pastor

Legends Award Recipients

  • Mildred Council – Known as “Mama Dip,” she is owner and chef the famous Chapel Hill Restaurant of the same name
  • J.D. Lewis – Former CBC employee of 49 years, and one of the area’s first black journalists
  • Bruce Lightner – Founder of the Raleigh MLK Celebration Committee

Legends in the Makings Award Recipients

  • Anita Brown-Graham – Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues
  • Cullen Jones – Olympic swimmer
  • Gabby Mayo – Southeast Raleigh High School senior and winner of 7 North Carolina High School Athletic Association state titles
  • Candyce Marsh – Owner of Candyce Marsh Racing
  • Walter Royal – Executive Chef of the Angus Barn Restaurant in Raleigh
Learn more about the distinguished honorees
Pam Saulsby & Gerald Owens
WRAL-TV Anchors Pam Saulsby (left) & Gerald Owens enthusiastically serve as emcees for the event.

WRAL-TV Anchors Pam Saulsby & Gerald Owens served as emcees for the gala.  CBC sponsored the “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Headquartered in Raleigh, the Triangle Urban League is an affiliate of the National Urban League, whose mission is to empower African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.  WRAL-TV Medical Reporter Dr. Allen Mask serves on the Board of the Triangle Urban League.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams for these capcom photos.

Clarence Williams
WRAL-TV Director/Producer Clarence Williams proudly represents CBC at the inaugural Legends event.
Paul Pope
ATC General Manager Paul Pope accepts the award on behalf of CBC & WRAL-TV legend J.D. Lewis.
Pam Saulsby & Gerald Owens
WRAL-TV Anchors Pam Saulsby (left) & Gerald Owens wave a hearty farewell to the crowd.
Pam Saulsby
A vision of elegance, WRAL-TV Anchor Pam Saulsby helps present the awards.
Gala attendees dance the night away to the smooth sounds of Sweet Dreams.
Mama Dip
Mildred Council, (left) known familiarly & famously as Mama Dip of the Chapel Hill restaurant bearing her name, celebrates her award.

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