Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
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History

The birth of UNITY (United Neighbors In Touch with the Youth) was from the inspiration of three very influential ladies of Eustis; Vivian “Carla” Mitchell, Patricia Wright, and Kimberly Kelly Cameron.  UNITY was later re-named the Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Committee, Inc. and is today known by many as “The Heritage Festival Mentors”.

These three ladies are the original founders that are credited with bringing the black community together to create harmony and peace to a grieving community.  They became involved years ago after a tragedy shook up Eustis that resulted in the death of two precious little girls. 

Mitchell said “It was the most horrific incident that happened in the City of Eustis - nobody knew what to do - it affected the entire town - we had to do something to save the children and the community.”

Ms. Mitchell, Ms. Wright, and Ms. Cameron, with the assistance of others, formed UNITY and at the initiative of Ms. Wright a year later the first Eustis African-American Heritage Festival became a reality.  These ladies decided to have a big, big coming together as a community, which included a parade down Bates Avenue and a Festival at Carver Park.  The first vendors were the local churches as well as individual community members.
Founders Kim Cameron-Gary, Patricia Wright, and Carla Mitchell 1994The dedicated hard work of these ladies captured the attention of others and the three-team committee expanded to nineteen members; who wanted to become a part of recognizing and preserving the rich African-American history in the Eustis of City.

In 1995, festival organizers decided to have an annual banquet to honor 10 people who were born or raised in Eustis or had been in the community at least 10 years.  Children in the community were also included. Past honorees included doctors, lawyers, entertainers, military personnel, business professionals and professional athletes.

Emphases are placed with the young people, where Ms. Mitchell reminds them that they can be from the housing projects---or wherever—and still be a success.

Those previously recognized would be considered the village keepers of Eustis.  Most times the village keepers buy the tickets and if required they will also purchase appropriate clothing for the youths to attend the annual banquet.  The young people also are required to attend etiquette training.

Much credit is given to Dr. Reginald Bowden and Dr. Nicole Bromwell for spearheading the campaign to solicit the local medical professionals to donate funds to make it possible for many young people to attend this event.  They also lead by example by donating generously to the cause.

Previous years’ heritage events were attended by thousands.  “People come now from everywhere - it’s a big community family reunion”, Mitchell said.

Tickets to the banquet may be purchased from any committee member listed below:

Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration Committee, Inc.

Officers

President
Carla Mitchell
  Vice-President
Kimberly Garry
  Secretary
Cynthia Blunt
Treasurer
Nice Allen Parks
  Financial Secretary
Sandra Perdue
  Chaplain
Pat Miller
    Administrative Assistant
Lucille McClain
   
Committee Members
Pinkie Lee Blake
Linda Bonds
Dr. Reginald Bowden
Dr. Nicole Bromwell
Judy Carter
  Chaniandra Davis
Harvey Howard
Janice Lecky
Leroy Lewis
Patricia McGowan
  Troy McIntosh
Tonya Wilder
Rodney Williams
Donnie Garry

"Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay."

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Eustis African-American Heritage Celebration
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