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NAACP defines its future

Shining rays of sun on some good news:

One of the challenges many community organizations face is planning for the future — especially those who have been blessed with senior leadership that has provided strong continuity for decades.

That was certainly the case with the Blair County Chapter of the NAACP, which was most ably guided by longtime president Don

Witherspoon.

When Witherspoon passed away in December, he left a considerable void in the community and the NAACP, but the organization announced last week that it has found his successor in Andrae

Holsey.

Though just 22 years old and a 2016 Altoona Area High School graduate, Holsey seems mature beyond his years, evidenced by his willingness to fill the large footsteps Witherspoon left. Holsey is the youngest NAACP president in Pennsylvania and one of the youngest in the entire country.

Holsey, who also serves in the Army Reserves, has also helped assemble a younger board of directors eager to make a difference.

This is a time in our country when race relations have been magnified and need attention, and we congratulate Holsey and the new NAACP leadership.

We’re sure Don Witherspoon would approve.

Michelle Stultz of the Williamsburg Women’s Civic Club coordinated an effort to raise money for flags honoring Williamsburg’s military personnel and first responders. It’s called the Hometown Heroes project and, when the second round is hung by the target date of July 4, a total of 200 flags at a cost of $200 each will be flying.

The Ebner Elementary community dedicated the Mowrie A. Ebner Memorial Garden in memory of four former Ebner students who died tragically in the last six years. The garden was funded by the 2019-20 fifth and sixth grade classes and was led by PTO President Jamie Lightner.

Bedford’s Leah Shackley competed in the U.S. Olympic women’s swimming trials in Indianapolis last weekend. She is just 14 years old. Shackley trains at the Blair Regional YMCA in Hollidaysburg.

Altoona Area High School’s Brooke Long captured the gold medal in the long jump at the PIAA championships with a leap of 18 feet, 1.25 inches that was reached on her very last jump of the day. Long wasn’t alone as a gold medalist. She was joined by Central Cambria’s 3200-meter relay team of Toby Cree, Corey Roberts, Tyler Gibson and Adam Lechleitner, Bedford’s Elijah Cook (javelin) and Chestnut Ridge’s Logan Pfister (high jump).

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