More than 500 guests settled into Disney’s Grand Ballroom on Saturday evening August 27 to be entertained, educated and enthused by the OC Black Chambers salute to 150th anniversary of the US Buffalo Soldiers and honoring local community leaders. It was another Bobby McDonald production with music, flag waving and patriotism exploding from the large room.

To begin the evening US Buffalo soldiers presented the colors, followed by a Salute, the singing of the National Anthem by Irvine Valley College soprano Rachel Bartlett, US Marine Corps. Welcome was given by President, Mildred Garcia CSUF amidst rounds of applause from TITAN Alumni. After the invocation the television screens brought to life the history of the US Buffalo Soldiers “Change the World” narrated by Bobby McDonald. It was warmly received. As dinner continued a special film was brought to life   “Buffalo Soldiers in Yellowstone”, presented by Trooper Ron Stone. Guests cheered at the end of this presentation.

The awards part of the program began with the presentation of the Black Chamber Education Fund awards. Student Book Scholarship Recipients include: Ms. Sydney Campbell, Newport Harbor High School, Major Communications and English, Will be attending University of San Francisco; Mr. Jason Bonney, Cal State Fullerton, Major: Business;  and Ms.Delanee Balta, Cal State Fullerton, Major: Business.

Veteran Book Scholarship Recipients:  Jose Guevara, Cal State Fullerton, US Marine Corps; Rachel Bartlett, Irvine Valley College, US Marine Corps; and Carla Brame Wilkerson, Irvine Valley College, US Marine Corps.

Special Book Scholarship Presentation!

LA History Day is an academic competition where hundreds of students from all over the Los Angeles area focus on a historical event of their choice. The students have a unique experience to develop the skill of research, critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills through the study of history. Students are able to present their research in one of five ways: exhibit, paper, website, live performance, or documentary. Champions of LA History Day are awarded medals and are given the opportunity to represent Los Angeles County in the State competition. Lauren Chen, Fiona Huang, Morgan Joe, and Lindsay Kashiwabara were crowned champions and had the honor of representing the LA County in this years’ state competition. OC Black Chamber honored them as well.

Lucy Dunn
Lucy Dunn

Continuing the awards was: The 2016 Distinguished Service Award was given to Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council for her exemplary work in the community and being trend setter in matters of Orange County. Lucy Dunn is president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, where she heads a dynamic organization of business members, working with academia and government to assure the county’s economic prosperity and high quality of life

Jo Ellen Chatham, Concordia University’s Director of Public Policy was also awarded the 2016 Distinguished Service Award. Chatham worked with SCE for 20 years before she joined Concordia University. She was instrumental in managing the relationships between SCE, the County of Orange and more than 50 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Formerly, Chatham was president of Eagle Forum of California, a public policy organization and was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Board of Governors of the California State Bar Association.

2016 Community Leadership Award was presented to Donald Craig, President of the NAACP Orange County Chapter

Donald Craig and Bobby McDonald
Donald Craig and Bobby McDonald

Don has made a difference for the people and communities in Orange County and encourages others to “make a difference when they can.” Donald has been active in the Orange County Branch NAACP for over 16 years.  He served as Membership Chair, First Vice-President, and currently as President for the past 10 years.  Donald has been a strong leader and has worked hard on becoming a voice for the disenfranchised African Americans in Orange County.  He dedicated his leadership and effort to ensure that the voices of all minorities in Orange County are heard and appropriated actions are taken.  Under his leadership, Donald Craig has re-vitalized the Orange County Branch NAACP:

2016 Veterans and Business Award was awarded to the Buffalo Soldier National Museum and Paul J Matthews, Founder.

The award was given in recognition of the US Buffalo Soldiers 150th anniversary. At a reception before the dinner many representatives of the Buffalo Soldiers had historical displays and educational materials and many were dressed in military and day clothes of the 1800s.

The mission of the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum (BSNM) is to educate the public and to preserve, promote and perpetuate the history, tradition and outstanding contributions of America’s Buffalo Soldiers from the Revolutionary War to the present.

Concluding the program was a moving short video—Historical Reflections— Heroes Hall introduced by Colonel Doug Applegate, US Marine Corp. This was the premier of the video produced by Explorer Studios. It was a perfect ending to recognize our Buffalo Soldiers and Military Veterans.

Judith Goffin lives in Yorba Linda and heads up Goffin Public relations.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *