Three women to be honored for involvement with community

Thursday, April 19, 2012 | 11:34 a.m. CDT; updated 4:33 p.m. CDT, Thursday, April 19, 2012

COLUMBIA — Three women known for their community contributions will be honored April 28 by Fun City Youth Academy.

Wanda Brown, Almeta Crayton and Wynna Faye Elbert will be recognized from 6 to 8 p.m. April 28 at the Community Champions dinner in the activity center at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church. 

Consuela Johnson of Fun City said organizers hope the dinner will become an annual event honoring different citizens who have "done a lot for low income people in the community."

Tickets to the dinner, catered by Boone Tavern, cost $20 for one person or $35 for two and can be purchased on Fun City's website. There will also be a silent auction. Proceeds will fund Fun City's summer program. 

Wanda Brown

After 34 years with Columbia Public Schools, Wanda Brown is retiring as assistant superintendent for secondary education.

Along with her time at Columbia Public Schools, Brown helped establish the Minority Achievement Committee Scholars program and is an active member of the Second Missionary Baptist Church and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. 

The scholars program was started as a way to increase the number of African-American students in honors and AP classes, Brown said. The program started with just 10 students and now has several hundred in grades six through 12. 

Brown said she is "sentimental, but not sad" about her retirement and she is "ready for a new adventure."

She hopes to do something more directly with students. 

Almeta Crayton

Almeta Crayton, former First Ward councilwoman, is the founder and director of Columbia's Successful Neighborhood Resource Center, a community program run by volunteers to assist those in need with things like finding a job or resolving a conflict.

Crayton has served on the board for Boone County Community Partnership, Welfare Working Partnership, Columbia Family Health, the local Salvation Army chapter and the Governor's Council on Women's Health. She was also on the Toys for Tots committee. 

Crayton is also on the board of directors for P.R.I.D.E. — a group of community leaders and nonprofit organizations in Columbia that come together to guarantee that children and their families have the best chance for success. 

She also organizes Everyone Eats, a food drive that provides baskets of food for families in need and a free Thanksgiving meal for the community. 

Wynna Faye Elbert

Since the age of 15, Wynna Faye Elbert has been involved with the junior branch of the NAACP, Columbia Parks and Recreation and the Frederick Douglass Coalition. 

Elbert hosted a talk show called "Straight Talk" on KOPN for 20 years. "Straight Talk" discussed black issues on a local, regional and national level and listeners could call in to give their opinions. 

She is still involved with Columbia Parks and Recreation and volunteers at the Armory. Elbert is also on the board of directors for P.R.I.D.E. 

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