After canceling their signature Valentine Day event due to COVID restrictions, the Royal Vagabonds men’s club returned to the spotlight for their 74th annual Sweethearts Valentine’s Ball. Held on the UNF campus inside Adam Herbert Center, hundreds of guests attended the annual event. As a precaution guests were required to be vaccinated and to wear mask.
Guests of the invitation only event were dressed in formal attire and partook in door prizes, raffles and a catered dinner to highlight their homecoming. Although many guests had not seen each other for two years, club members and their escorted dates were eager to network with family and friends.
This year, the club’s annual golf tournament netted more than 4k to distribute to deserving students headed to college from the Jacksonville area. “I was honored to welcome our guests back with a smile to know that our members were still healthy and ready to kick their heels up and enjoy a night of fondness with their fellow members and associates,” said President Seabon Dixon. The Royal Vagabond Club was formed in 1928 and incorporated in 1948, as a social and civic organization. The club was organized by professional men in the community with the desire to have a positive presence in the community for Blacks during the years of Jim Crow and segregation. Over the years the club sustained declining membership but has been resurrected in recent years to become once again a positive influence in the Jacksonville community. The two events that drive Royal Vagabond fundraising efforts are their annual Golf Tournament and Valentines Sweetheart’s Ball. Now numbering close to twenty, the Vagabonds vow to continue to make a difference in the community and the lives of people of color.