Annual Oakes House Banquet set for Saturday


The Board of Directors of the Yazoo County Fair and Civic League Inc., along with Board President Joffre Washington, are pleased to announce that Saturday, August 17, 2019, has been selected as the date of the Oakes Center Annual Banquet. 

This year's event will be held at the Dr. L. T. Miller/ H. A. Scott Community Center on Lamar Avenue at 7 p.m.

The Oakes Steering Committee is proud to announce that the guest speaker for this year's banquet is Remona Suttlar. 

Suttlar is a graduate of Yazoo City High School and Alcorn State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.  She began her career at the Bank of Yazoo City and later served as Deputy Tax Assessor and Collector for Yazoo County.  She went on to serve as a Field Staff Representative for Congressman Mike Espy, which enabled her to gain valuable knowledge of the operations of the federal government. After serving as the USDA/Rural Development's State Environmental Coordinator and Director of the Program Support Division for 24 years, Remona retired in 2017. She was appointed by the Governor of Mississippi and received Senate approval to serve on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Business Finance Corporation (MBFC).  Remona is married to her high school sweetheart, Michael Suttlar, Sr.  They have one son, Michael Suttlar, II, a daughter-in-law, Dr. Charlene Cole Suttlar, and three beautiful granddaughters, Seraphina and twins Hope and Faith.  Remona is an active member of Tulane Baptist Church under the direction of Minister Thaddeus J. Williams.

The Mississippi 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.  The Oakes House 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 who settled in the Yazoo area circa 1859.  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 relating to not only 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.

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 choose to purchase an ad or make a donation.  Again, this year's fundraising efforts will culminate with the annual banquet which will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at the Dr. L. T. Miller/ H. A. Scott 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 for 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.