On Saturday, November 15, 2014, the AnnieRuth Foundation hosted Honoring a Community Legend. The 2014 recipient was Alfred “Al” Austin. Honoring a Community Legend is the forum used by the AnnieRuth Foundation to acknowledge unsung heroes and heroines. Those individuals who have made significant contributions in the city of Jacksonville because it was what they were predestined to do; rather than doing it with an expectation to be rewarded.
Austin was selected because of outstanding achievements made as an athlete, an educator and a mentor. “We’ve all heard the saying, give them their roses while they can smell them,” said Executive Director, DeAndrous Wilcox. “Well, that’s exactly what Honoring a Community Legend is all about; acknowledging accomplishments during the lifetime of an individual who has sacrificed in order to enhance the lives of others.”
The evening consisted of dinner, entertainment and reflections by Austin’s friends, classmates, teammates and relatives. Austin received special presentations by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the office of Nikolai Vitti, and the office of Councilwoman E. Denise Lee. Angela Spears read a Proclamation on behalf of Mayor Alvin Brown; proclaiming November 15, 2014 as Alfred Austin Day in the city of Jacksonville. As a part of the event, three individuals received The Alfred Austin Award for exhibiting characteristics of Austin: Joyous Burden – Outstanding Athlete, Ebony Griffin – Outstanding Educator and Sheila Seymour Pennick – Outstanding Mentor.
The AnnieRuth Foundation, under the leadership of DeAndrous Wilcox, has been in existence for only two years and has already made a positive impact in the community. Its purpose is to address the needs of underserved communities by way of providing educational programs and raising awareness of community resources.