Blossoming Minds celebrates, honors MKL legacy

Published 2:35 pm Thursday, January 24, 2019

by Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A sea of shining, sequins and rhinestoned blues celebrated Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday on Saturday during the Blossoming Minds: MLK Gala at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center.

Formal attire in shades of blue moved across the floor and under the red stage lights as winners were announced and honorees were honored.

This year, the third year of the event, had two Masters of Ceremony: David Richard and Raymond Richard. David has MCed the event each year. He also announced at the end of the night, this would be his last year.

Tramena Horn read a letter from Senator Ted Cruz, “An ardent believer in truth and justice, Dr. King never ceased in his pursuit of a dream planted deep in his heart and spirit. In the face of inequality and injustice, he devoted his life to preaching a gospel of hope and love for all mankind, and he called upon all people to join him in carrying out the vision established in our nation’s founding principles.”

DeAndre Nico, who performed on The Voice, sang Wind Beneath My Wings.

David Richard pointed out many may be unaware Nico sat in the back on the drums set each year.

“This brother made it,” Richard said. “He took on a platform, not in his comfort zone and made it his.”

Geary Seniguar was the keynote speaker.

Seniguar owns the only Black beauty hair supply in Beaumont and part of Stop The Violence.

“We have to learn to praise one another,” Seniguar said. “We have to vote. People were hung and died for the right to vote. If we want better, we have to do better.”

Seniguar told why he started Stop The Violence.

“I have four sons,” Seniguar said. “Two years ago, there were 13 homicides in Beaumont in one month. We have to put shoes on our prayers. We cannot just be prayers of the word but doers of the word.”

The winners are:

  • Student of the Year Female – Malena Warnell
  • Student of the Year Male – Kayvon Cooper
  • Athlete of the Year – Justin Sibley Jr.
  • Instructor of the Year – Jeron King
  • Image Award – Tens Making a Difference
  • Health and Wellness Award – Ashley Anderson
  • Business of the Year – Dena’s Eatery
  • Man of the Year – Larry Spears Jr.
  • Woman of the Year – Lorenza Solomon

Honorees are:

  • Legacy Honoree – Pastor C.W. Crawford
  • Veteran Honoree – Henry Reed
  • Trailblazer Honoree – Reverend Charlotte Moses
  • Bridge Honoree – Dawn Burleigh
  • King Impact – Orange Police Officer Chris Arnold
  • Integrity Honoree – Dr. Suzonne Crockett