AP NEWS

NAACP Cancels Annual Freedom Fund Banquet Following Group Treasurer’s Death

October 25, 2018

WILKES-BARRE — NAACP Wilkes-Barre Chapter officials have canceled this year’s Freedom Fund Banquet, which had been scheduled for Saturday. The decision was made “due to unforeseen and devastating circumstances” — the death of the organization’s treasurer, David Barber, earlier this month, chapter president Guerine Laurore said. “It’s been very difficult trying to plan the banquet” following Barber’s death, “so we just decided to cancel it this year,” Laurore said. Laurore said Barber, 43, was an incredibly hard worker and dedicated volunteer, and his death Oct. 3 was a tremendous loss for the chapter and for the community. “This is the first time something like this has happened, for our chapter to lose someone in office,” Laurore said. Barber, who had earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Luzerne County Community College, was formerly employed at the Social Security Administration in Wilkes-Barre. In addition to serving on the executive committee for NAACP Wilkes-Barre Branch No. 2306, he was associated with the Luzerne County Democratic Committee and part of Action Together. His hobbies included helping others, spending time with his sons, and being active in community organizations and politics. He was a former member of Mount Zion Baptist Church and currently attended Parker Hill Community Church, according to his obituary. Barber had been presented with the NAACP President’s Award at the Freedom Fund Banquet in 2014. In addition to honoring those who promote diversity, community service, equality and justice, the annual banquet serves as the NAACP’s largest fundraiser for the year. This year’s event was scheduled to be held at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre for the first time. “We are grateful to all of you who have supported us,” Laurore said in a written statement thanking those who had made reservations and sent in payment checks. All payments made will be returned within 30 days, she said. Contact the writer: smocarsky@citizensvoice.com, 570-821-2110, @MocarskyCV