Saturday, March 11, 2017 Anointed Life Saving Ministries, Inc. hosted its first Pioneer Awards Banquet at the First Presbyterian Church. The theme of the evening was “Bridge to the Future”.

The organization honored three people in the community, Charlie”Brother” Fry, Willisteen Miller and John Wilbers for being bridges to help youth in the community reach their goals and potential.

Fry taught for more than 40 years and has been coaching for more than 50 years. He has also spearheaded events such as the Garfield Reunions; Juneteenth and most recently the 9/11 Observance. Fry is a member of Ward Chapel AME church where he serves as a trustee.

Miller is a supporter of all Mexico High School athletics. She has been a member of Second Baptist Church of Mexico for more than 50 years and is active as a deaconess. Miller enjoys dressing as Ms. Claus during the Christmas season; she has donated more than 75 Teddy bears to a biker organization; has supported organizations in the community such as the YMCA; and has shared her African American Collection in collaboration with Fry at several activities.

Wilbers is a math teacher at Mexico Middle School. He has coached high school wrestling and currently coaches cross country. In 2003 he opened Coaches Pizza to provide a spot for young people to “hang out”. He remained the owner/operator of it until 2014. Wilbers is often found sharing his gifts and talents with people and groups in the area.

Each of the recipients received an award. The more than 120 attendees gave each of the honorees a standing ovation and benefited from hearing what the honorees shared when they accepted their award.

This year Ret. CMDR Sherman Neal from Chicago, Ill., was the speaker. Neal is the founder and owner of Aspire Ventures and LLC Company that provides construction and renovation services in the metro Chicago area. Prior to running his own business, he had a prosperous career in corporate and investment banking. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and Master of Business Administration from DePaul University. He has graduate studies in Management Information Systems from New York University. He emphasized that to him, his life passion centers around what he can do for others and he encouraged others to adopt the same philosophy.

Marquis Smith, a junior at Mexico High School, provided a musical selection for the event; and eight cadets from Missouri Military Academy assisted with the serving of food and cleanup. Keith Batsell provided food for the event.

Anointed Life Saving Ministries is a 501c3 organization that mission is: To be the bridge that closes the gap that exists between people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

For additional information about the organization call 573-567-5178.