Fair & Civic League gears up for annual Oakes Banquet

By THE YAZOO HERALD,

Mrs. Catherine J. Brent, President and Board members of the Yazoo County Fair and Civic League, Inc., are pleased to announce that August 24, 2018, has been selected as the date of the Oakes Center Annual Banquet.  This year's event will be held at the L.T. Miller Community Center, on Friday, August 24, 2018, at 7 p.m.

On December 4, 2015, the Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees approved a Community Heritage Preservation Grant to the Yazoo County Fair and Civic League, Inc. for $125,000.  The Project, however, requires a 20 percent local match of $31,250 through community support.  This support comes through in donations from individuals, churches, businesses, and fundraising events sponsored by the Fair and Civic League.  Previous grant funds were used to stabilize the House.  Fair and Civic League Board members went about the tasks of applying for another grant in an effort to make more needed repairs to the structure.  The Oakes House, located atop Monroe Hill (312 South Monroe) was home to the Oakes family for 125 years.  It began as a one-room structure located on a lot purchased in 1866 by John Oakes (a free man) and his wife Mary (a former slave) from South Carolina.  That one-room structure eventually grew into a regal two-story home.  Today, the Oakes Home serves as a museum that houses documents and exhibits not only relating to the Oakes family, but to other African Americans including educators, artists, doctors, and business people whose lives and works have enriched the Yazoo area and other areas across the state of Mississippi.  The house has many architectural features that are unusual and remarkably well preserved including leaded-glass entrance doors, original mantels, chimneys, walls and stairs that are especially interesting.

In order to continue the repair work needed to restore and preserve the Oakes House, fundraising efforts must continue.  The Banquet will feature a Souvenir Booklet.  Names of platinum, gold, silver, and bronze sponsors will be featured in the booklet along with names of other supporters who chose to purchase an ad or make a donation.  Again, this year's fundraising efforts will culminate with the annual banquet which will begin at 7 p.m., Friday, August 24, 2018, at the L.T. Miller Community Center on Lamar Avenue.  The theme of this year's program is "Continuing the Struggle for the Oakes Center."  The Board of Directors and members of the Yazoo County Fair and Civic League, Inc., are asking residents and former residents of the Yazoo Community to join together in an effort to make this year's fundraising activities for the Oakes African-American Cultural Center a tremendous success.  Please call (662) 746-7984 for more information regarding this year's banquet.