Men Of Distinction Sponsors 26th Annual Black Heritage Gala


LEESBURG – Once again, participants were entertained, educated, informed, and fed when they attended The Men of Distinction’s annual Leesburg Black Heritage and Black Tie Gala Friday evening, February 23, 2024 at the Venetian Center, One Dozier Circle in Leesburg, Florida.

The looked forward to annual event offers a great opportunity for Lake County residents, civic, and community leaders to fellowship,  be entertained, and learn about African American leaders who have been recognized for providing a positive impact in the lives of individuals they have served.

Individuals awarded were Carolyn Samuel for Influential Educator; Dr. Franchetta Honer for Outstanding Leadership; The Leesburg Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity for Community Service Organization; Leesburg Community Development Corporation for Community Service; Kanye  Gaines for Outstanding Athlete; Lorrie Brinson for Outstanding Achievement; and E’mia Jones and Caron Callahan for Female and Male Rising Stars. MOD presented them with $500.00 scholarships.

Candice, the Violinist, certainly took the program to a higher level of entertainment as she moved from table to table, serenading quests. “She was awesome, I loved the violinist,” said Heritage Committee Chairperson Tiffany Poitier.

Adrienne Harris said, “I truly enjoyed my evening out.  The food was homemade delicious.  The young men and women of Lake County, Florida, are truly about business… Doing, going, and making history.”

The Gala is the first of two events sponsored by MOD, a group of Black men and youth who have been serving Lake County for more than 25 years. MOD also coordinates programs that highlight Black History Month. The African Heritage Festival, the second event, will be held Saturday, March 2, 2024 at the Resource Center on CR 468 in Leesburg, Florida, from 11 am to 6 pm. The Festival will feature entertainment, information booths, and vendors selling all kinds of products from clothing, jewelry, pocketbooks, books, food and more.

Leesburg High School students received community service credit for assisting with serving guests. DJ Shakeback provided the music.

I want to thank the Leesburg Community for their untiring support and huge turnout every year, and our Black Heritage Committee for coordinating another successful Back Heritage Gala,” commented John Christian, founder of MOD almost 30 years ago. “It’s very important that we highlight Black History Month and the contributions Black people made to help build this country.”