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Black Heritage Day in Banning

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By Cindy Watson –

This week the Banning Cultural Alliance announced two of the three people to be honored at this year’s Black Heritage Day Celebration, on February 26. Recipients of the awards are Patricia Henderson, Onauish Hull and a surprise recipient.

Entrance to the Black Heritage Day Celebration is free and will be filled with entertainment and artwork. The doors are open from 2:30 to 7:30pm.

The headliner for the evening performance is award winning performing Yve Evans on piano, who will play during the dinner portion of the event. Soul Food dinner tickets will be on sale at the door on a first come basis for $15.00.

This is the third year for the event that celebrates and honors cultural diversity and people from the Pass area that consistently work for and help others in the community.

“I haven’t done anything that outstanding,” said 85 year old Onauish Hull after learning that he was chosen for the honor. That is not how those he has inspired or mentored throughout his 23 years in Banning feel.

“He was and still is my mentor,” said Lorenzo Amis about Hull, who is still an active mentor to the Pass Area Young Men’s Program.

“He has always been there for me and others. He is a real down to earth person and easy to talk to and always able to pull out just the right words to help or inspire you,” he added.

Born in 1925, in Turner, Arkansas, Hull at nearly 86 years of age, is still helping people whenever he can, even personally taking senior citizens for doctor appointments and visiting shut ins.

Hull is a WWII Navy Veteran, who served in the pacific on a transport ship and was overseas five times.

Married in 1947 to Minnie Murl Mitchell, Hull moved to California in 1952 and then to Banning where he has resided for the past 23 years. He has 4 daughters, 10 grand children, 22 great grandchildren, and 7 great-great grandchildren.

Widowed after nearly 40 years of marriage, he met his current love Carol and they married in 1986.

He has continually devoted his life to helping people, both in his church and throughout the community by helping with local drives to raise and provide food, clothing and even assistance in paying bills.

“That includes prayers,” he said.

He continues to be a loyal church member and serves as a deacon at The First Missionary Baptist Church where he is also known to sing in the choir.

“I try to set an example as an honest man, he said, and just look out for my neighbors.

The second honoree was born in Texas and moved to California when she was 3 months old. Her family then moved to Banning when she was five years old. Patricia Henderson is a 1965, Banning High School graduate.

“I have attended all of the schools in Banning at one time or another,” said Henderson.

Henderson began her working career with the Deutch Company in 1966, stopping in 1969 to begin raising her family. She has been married to husband Richard Henderson, for 43 years.

A mother to two sons she has 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Although she had a varied work career, Henderson always considered her family to be at the top of her list as first and foremost a mom and homemaker.

Her love of children led her to working with local youth through the school district as an employee and also in opening her home to caring for the children of others.

Henderson has devoted the past eight years, as the president of the local Anthropol Woman's Club.

One of the primary functions of the club is to raise money for the higher education of local youth.

The group then awards scholarships to local youth each year.

Henderson is active in the community participating in fund raising events and also works on projects to make certain that youth have coats and shoes.

“We are just a piece of the puzzle,” she said about the groups and people that she works with.

She too is very active in her church and is a Sunday School teacher. The event is sponsored by the Banning Cultural Alliance with event sponsor Bank of Hemet. Doors open at 2:30pm, with the program starting at 3pm to 7:30pm. The event is at the historic Banning Woman's Club, 175 W. Hays. $15.00 Soul Food dinner tickets will be on sale at the door on a first come basis.

Reservations are suggested and advance ticket purchase is available by Visa or Mastercard by calling 951-922-4911 or visit BanningCulturalAlliance.com

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