Rep. J. Clyburn

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please note that the date of this event has been changed.

U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn will be the headline speaker for the ”Touch of Gold Luncheon” on Friday, Oct. 28, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Charlotte. Clyburn will address “Faith in Action” at this fundraising benefit for the First Baptist Church-West Community Services Association (CSA).

“Congressman Clyburn is the perfect choice for the first major fundraiser of the Community Services Association,” said Dr. Ricky Woods, CSA Board Chairman. “What makes him such an inspiration has been his ability to show excellence, determination and integrity throughout a long career of public service.”

Congressman Clyburn currently serves as Assistant Democratic Leader and is the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is also one of 12 members on the newly appointed debt reduction “supercommittee.”

The son of an activist minister and beautician, Clyburn was president of the local NAACP youth chapter at age 12. While attending South Carolina State College, he led civil rights marches, often noting that he met his wife in jail. He started his career as a high school teacher and was later appointed the first black advisor to a South Carolina governor in 1971. He went on to lead the SC Human Affairs Commission for 18 years, serving as a mediating influence under Democratic and Republican administrations.

“Congressman Clyburn’s distinguished service truly embodies our theme of Faith in Action,” said Dr. Ricky Woods, who also is senior minister of First Baptist Church-West. “Over the years, he has built a sterling reputation for excellence and service on issues that touch the lives of many throughout the southeast and the nation.”

The FBC-W Community Services Association is a community-based, nonprofit that promotes excellence in academics, fine arts, health and social services to Charlotte area residents. It is based in the First Baptist-Church-West Family Life Center at 1801 Oaklawn Avenue, but serves residents from throughout Mecklenburg County.

The Community Services Association is noted for its outcome-based programs such as:
* GAP (Gang Alternative Principles) Program—the largest community-based gang prevention program serving Mecklenburg County.
* The Clara H. Jones Summer Institute – a fine arts and academic six-week program of instruction for 150 students each summer. Program highlights include licensed teachers, a STEM curriculum and an ending fine arts program.
* The First Baptist-West Music & Tutoring Afterschool Program – a NC 21st Century afterschool site emphasizing homework assistance as well as weekly piano, violin and art lessons with a 90% EOG passing rate.

Another luncheon highlight will be the regional FBI office’s recognition of the GAP Program for its role in crime and violence prevention and education. The FBC annually awards the community service recognition to one organization in each state. In its two years of existence, the GAP Program has provided life skills and job training skills to 200 male youth either at-risk or involved in gang or juvenile delinquency activity.

Luncheon co-chairs are Cindy Campbell, a Charlotte area realtor, and Marian Yates, NC Principal of the Year. Congressman Mel Watt of Charlotte will be a program participant, as well as students involved in the GAP gang prevention program and afterschool/summer institute. Saxophonist Kenneth Whalum III, who has toured with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Maxwell, will provide music for the event.

A limited number of single tickets are available at $150 each. For more information, contact CSA Executive Director Patsy Burkins at (704) 372-3742 or at, or go to

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