Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ministers Wives Have Long History of Service

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ministers Wives Have Long History of Service

Article excerpt

Lois Duncan, who has served as president of the Evansville Ministers Wives' Council for the past 21 years, learned only recently that one of the founding members and first president of the 110 year old social and philanthropic organization was her own great-grandmother, Flora Cooksey. Duncan is, herself, the 13th president of the largely African American/inner city organization.

The organization has a proud and uninterrupted history of service to the community, and the churches therein, sponsoring everything from after-school programs in local churches, establishing health centers in churches, hosting health fairs including those targeting senior citizens and men, organizing annual flu shot clinics (with Walgreens Pharmacy), funding three college scholarships, collecting underwear and socks for the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. and handing out back-to-school supplies every summer, a project known as the "Back-2-School Unity Fest."

"Have you ever heard of 'Stuff the Bus?' Well, that's us; Kenny Kent helps us with that every year, Duncan said.

The latter project, initiated four years ago, has seen 10,500 backpacks delivered into the hands of youngsters heading back to a new school year, Duncan said.

All this with only 10 active members - all over age 60 - with the matriarch, Odie Mae Haskins, at 96 years and counting.

This year the Council will host its first-ever anniversary banquet Saturday, May 17 (6 to 9 p.m.) at the Community Recreation Education Center, 484 S. Governor St.

The public is invited to attend.

Ministers' wives from any and all denominations are especially welcome, Duncan said, as the organization seeks to increase membership and solidify its existence into the next generation.

Tickets for the dinner, which will be catered by Jasper's Schnitzelbank Restaurant, are $30 per person and must be secured in advance, either from the African American Museum or by calling Duncan at 812-598-3741, no later than Tuesday. …

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