The Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Honor Andreanecia Morris As 2017 Louisiana Role Model

BATON ROUGE – The Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated honored six Louisiana Role Models at the 12th Annual "New Orleans Style Jazz Brunch" held at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel, on Saturday, Dec. 9.  The theme for the event, "Celebrating the Successes of Louisiana Role Models," highlighted the accomplishments of Louisiana natives who have had a positive and insightful impact on the local, state and national level. Each honoree exemplifies the thrust of The Links' service to the community through the work of its committees: Services to Youth, National Trends and Services, International Trends and Services, Health and Human Services, and the Arts. 

The 2017 honorees and the service areas they represent are: Andreanecia Morris (National Trends), Martin Payton (The Arts), Eldred Jackson(National Trends), Jocelyn Johnson (National Trends), Khristie Dyson Landrew (Services to Youth) and Cheri McDaniel (International Trends). The event celebrates the accomplishments of the role models and the enormous impact they have made on our society as a whole.

Southern Area representatives arrived in town from across the state to participate in the celebration and support the efforts of the local Links' chapter. The festive atmosphere of food, music and friendship provided the perfect setting for the 500 plus guests to enjoy an authentic New Orleans' style event. From the champagne, food, fashion show, and music; to the second line finale led by Links' Chapter members, the event was an enjoyable time for all in attendance. The Michael Foster Project gave a stellar performance of New Orleans style music coupled with traditional Christmas songs with a New Orleans twist.  

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"Each year the Jazz Brunch gets better and better and the attendance increases," said Maxine R. Cormier, chair of the event. "Even the Friday morning snow did not impact the attendance. I could not be prouder of the hard work of the committee and the support from the community." 

The Jazz Brunch is a key initiative in the organization's efforts to raise funds for the continuation of substantive, multi-faceted programming in the Baton Rouge community. The funds generated by the Jazz Brunch over the past ten years support programs such as: the Rose Bud Club, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Linkages to Life, the Links' Boot Camp for youth, the Debose National Piano Competition, and the International Foreign Affairs & Business Empowerment for youth -LIFE Institute. The Jazz Brunch also helped fund the renovation of a space in the ExxonMobil YMCA for children; which is now called the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Links Incorporated "Kids Zone." 

This year, 2017 has a special meaning for the members of the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the Jazz Brunch and the beginning of a new tradition, the addition of the Dr. Julia Brogdon Purnell Scholarship presentation. Named in honor of the 7th national president of The Links, Incorporated and charter member of the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the scholarship was created to support the vital role HBCU's play in educating our youth and fostering the development of the leaders and role models of tomorrow. 

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"The Jazz Brunch has come a long way over the past 12 years. The event has become a source of pride for our organization" says Yolanda Dixon, chapter president. "This event represents the core principles upon which our chapter was founded and the addition of awarding the scholarship makes it even more special. Southern University College of Education student, Ms. Vaterra Calais, the first scholarship recipient sets a high standard for future applicants. The Jazz Brunch, in total, continues to be a successful way to recognize the contributions of outstanding Louisianans, receive a broad base of support from the community, and have a very good time."

Chartered on Nov. 28, 1964, the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links, Incorporated remains committed to implementing programs that provide opportunities for community development in partnership with local, regional, and national agencies. The accomplished and dedicated members are active in the community as role models, mentors, activists and volunteers who work toward ensuring that the name "Links" is not only a chain of friendship, but also a chain of purposeful service. For the past 50+ years Links' programs have touched the lives of all Baton Rouge community members; regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socio-economic level. Fundraisers like the Jazz Brunch ensure that the chapter will continue to do so in the future. 


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