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Blanche Penn and Delores Aklassou are planning an October gala to celebrate the life of the late Valerie Woodard.

Woodard, 56, was a Mecklenburg commissioner when she died Oct. 3, 2008, from a rare blood disorder.

Woodard was a voice in the Qcity community, a strong advocate for social issues like education and care for people suffering from HIV/AIDS. She was a national NAACP trustee, a former chair of the local Civil Service Board and a member of the N.C. Council for Women.

Penn said she and Woodard were like sisters.

“Valerie loved to party,” Penn said, “and that’s what we plan to do.”

The gala is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 16, at the Hilton Charlotte University Place at 7 p.m. It will include a fashion show, door prizes, free buffet and silent auction. Tickets are $25.

Proceeds from the gala will cover event expenses. Any extra will be donated to the Anita Stroud Foundation, one of Woodard’s favorite charities.

For more information, Contact Blanche Penn at 704-890-4101 or Delores Aklassou at 704-891-5805. (By Lauren Benjamin, Qcitymetro.com Staff Writer)


Clifford Perry, senior vice president for community development at Fifth Third Bank, has been named to the Union County Partnership for Progress Board of Directors. The partnership promotes economic development in Union County by recruiting new business and industry, helping promote the success of existing businesses, creating new jobs and expanding capital investment in Union County. Perry oversees Fifth Third Bank’s local community development efforts, compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), and various diversity efforts within Fifth Third’s Chicago and North Carolina regions. Prior to joining Fifth Third, he served as community banking president for Wells Fargo Bank in Omaha, Neb.

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