Those attending the Silver Anniversary celebration for the Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development Inc. praised the efforts to not only keep dollars in the community but also for promoting Black pride, history and heritage .
Raynetta Glenn remembers the early days when the chamber got off the ground and said she is glad the event and the chamber continues to grow after 25 years.
“I was a hostess at the first banquet and remember Craig Washington and how the chamber used to meet in different places,” Glenn said. “This has come full circle in the community with the building and Craig Washington here.”
Glenn said having the chamber in the community sends the right message about what African-Americans should be doing to promote growth in the community.
For Rose Howard, it was emotional event, but a chance to think back to times when there were more true Black businesses and when the word and concept of community truly meant that.
“This is fantastic way to call the community and the next generation into accountability,” she said. “The examples have been set and the torch passed. It is what the community needs to see and hear and now it is up to them to build on all this inspirational work and teaching.”
Many also said the message by brilliant legal mind Craig Washington was timely and challenged the new Black leadership to take the torch and build on the strong civil rights leaders and legacies of past.
“It time to set the next generation on the right paths,” said longtime Acres Home activist Ruby Lee Mosley. “We must lead and train our parents to be parents and our leaders to be true leaders and this chamber has been involved in doing just that. “I am pleased and happy that for 25 years it has helped shape this community and we are better for it being here today.”
Dr. James M. Douglas said the message was powerful because it sets the stage and standards for the next generation.
“We have done what we could to get to this point,” he said. “This chamber and its leaders have been a beacon in the community and its leaders are to be commended. It is up to those coming after us to raise the bar.”
Others were there and witnessed the crowning achievement of legendary community services of Oveta Hunter. She has dedicated over 70 years of her life as have many of Acres Home legends to the development of the community.
“This was a wonderful event and a blessing,” said Eric McDaniel, the nephew of Hunter. “This occasion is a great moment in Black history and has Mrs. Hunter at the crossroads of history for this community. We appreciate her work and the work of this chamber. The work in this community will stand as strong legacies for others to build on.”
Dwight and Violet Judge attended their first chamber banquet and the retired executive said it was one of the most impressive displays of African-American community business organization he had ever seen.
“I think this is a great thing for this community,” he said. “It is a good way to visibly showcase what the community and the chamber stands for.”
Judge is the founder of the Black Professional Cowboys and Cowgirls Association (BPCCA) and each year since 1999 has put on the Annual Heritage Day Rodeo in Humble.
Violet Judge said it was very nice seeing that events like the banquet were held away from the normal venues people select for banquets and awards ceremonies.
“I really thought the place was nice and set up very well,” Violet Judge said. “ I really enjoyed myself.”
Some longtime supporters of the AHCBED include H.E.B., Center Point Energy, Montalbano Lumber, State Representative Sylvester Turner and Shirley Ann’s Black Kollectibles and Flowers.
Chairman Roy Douglas Malonson also thanked them the many other supporters of the chamber who believed in the concept of keeping events in the community and the vision of showcasing Black business talent from the community.