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Friday, July 8, 2011

The 2011 Douglass Alumni Reunion & the Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Reunion: PICTURES

Here's a breakdown of the pictures of the events from the Douglass Alumni Reunion and the Kingsport Ebony Club Alumni Reunion.

The combined event was a first for both organizations, with a pledge from both governing boards that from this point forward, future reunions will be held together, coordinated by both groups.


The excitement of the weekend began here, in the Douglass Community Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. This was the first time Douglass Alumni and Ebony Club Alumni had ever mingled together, and there was plenty of hugs while registering each of their members for the Reunions. Everything went rather smoothly (except for a mix-up over the starting times).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass-Ebony Club Reunion Registrations.


Crepe Myrtles, native to China, have flourished well in the United States, notedly in the temperate regions that are south of the Ohio River. Well known for its beautiful blooms, it's valued as a landscaping plant, and now a special crepe myrtle tree is gracing the courtyard of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex. Dedicated by the Kingsport Ebony Club at the 2011 Reunion as a living memorial to the history of the club at Dobyns-Bennett High School, club members also launched balloons as a tribute to the former alumni who have passed on in the past two years since the 2009 Reunion.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Alumni's Tree Dedication and Balloon Launch.


There was some high-struttin' at the Riverview Splashpad on Friday afternoon, as models from the community showed off the latest fashions. The concrete sidewalks along the Splashpad adequatedly served as runways, in a scene just as good as what you'd see in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome and London. As folks heard about the fashion show and rushed to see it, it was over, leaving folks hoping that more displays of fashion will provide our folks with a chance at "Puttin' on the Ritz."

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Fashion Show at the Splashpad.


Riverview always throws a good party, and the Ebony Club took advantage of the fact that in years past, the Douglass Alumni Association itself has hosted a street party. The roads were blocked off in front of the Douglass Ballfield, and both Ebony Club and Douglass Alumni shared music, food and fellowship with the residents of the new Riverview Place Homes nearby. The Block Party carried on into the night, as the ballfield lights were turned on and folks didn't seem to want the party to end.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the Ebony Club Block Party.


After registration, it's traditional for Douglass Alumni to commune with each other in a sense of togetherness. For a long time, that event was held in one of the small meeting rooms at Meadowview, but this year, it was held in the Douglass Community Room. This venue offered more room to move around and no other events (weddings, meetings, etc) going on. Interesting to note that many Douglass Alumni spent time both at this event and the Ebony Club Block Party, within walking distance down Louis Street.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures of the Douglass Friday Night Get-Together.


The largest group of golfers ever fielded for a Douglass Reunion golf tournament, Warriors Path State Park was virtually a playground for experienced, and not-so-experienced golfers, whose fees were donated for the benefit of scholarships for the descendants of Douglass Alumni. Ironically, some of them are also children of Ebony Club Alumni, too. Although everybody did reasonably well on the golf course, we did notice "a lot of cussing" among players, all of it good-natured. It's no secret that all the golfers had a great time!

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Scholarship Golf Tournament.

Winners in the A Group are: G. Mann, 1st place with a 76.. James Cornett, 2nd place with a 78.. Author Dunn, 3rd place with 79.. and Jim Hickman, 4th place with an 82.

Winners in the B Group are: Robert Lytel, 1st place with a 78.. Daniel Jones, 2nd place with a 78.. George Hall, 3rd place with an 80.. and Steve Hanes, 4th place with an 83.

Winners in the C Group are: Scotty Dykes, 1st place with an 85.. Charles Hartsell, 2nd place with an 86.. Rev. Kenneth Calvert, 3rd place with an 86.. and John Young, 4th place with a 91.

Winners in the D Group are: G. J. Hickman, 1st place with a 91.. Ronnie Stover, 2nd place with a 99.. Gary McKesson, 3rd place with a 100.. and Rick Spivey, 4th place with a 104.

All the golfers above were presented trophies.


Borden Park was one of just two off-campus events during the 2011 Reunions. With music, hamburgers, hot dogs and chips among other goodies, it was possible to get full and start nodding off because it was so comfortable sitting in the shade. For the kids, we saw face-painting, basketball and a giant, inflatable for kids to jump around in (and not just the kids enjoyed this one--some of the big kids got in some exercise time, too).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club Alumni Family Cookout.


Although Douglass Reunion Field Days in the ballfield always get a crowd relaxing under the tents and sampling food from the vendors, field days also have a tendency to attract people just driving by on Louis Street and Lincoln Street.. many of those folks drive by slowly, seeing who's out, and then parking nearby and coming over to say hello. It's considered the "family reunion" part of the Reunions, because at these things, everybody is related to everybody else.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Reunion Field Day.



The meeting was to elect new officers for the Sons and Daughters of Douglass, Inc. Executive Board for the . The 2011-2013 officers are: President, Virginia Hankins... Vice-President, Andra Watterson.. Treasurer, Lillian Leeper... Financial Secretary, Ozine Bly... Corresponding Secretary, Pam Sensabaugh... Recording Secretary, Vici Smith... Sergeant-At-Arms, Wallace Ross, Jr... Chaplain, Louetta Hall... along with permament Executive Board Member Van Dobbins, Jr. (food service & hospitality)... and permanent Executive Board Member Calvin Sneed (Public and Media Relations, Website Manager).

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Business Meeting.


It's no secret that the Douglass Alumni were happier, not having to dress up for a banquet. Everybody let their hair down, and then got down with the music of "The Jazzmaster." This was also the time when bids were tallied up for the silent auction, and the winners were announced. Newly-elected alumni treasurer Lillian Leeper got a crash course in balancing the books as winning bidder after bidder came forward with their monies, as their names were announced as winners of the donated merchandise.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass Alumni Saturday Night Get-Together.



The second of two off-campus venues for the 2011 Reunion, Rascals became a popular haven for the Ebony Club Alumni two years ago, and this time around, even many of the Douglass Alumni stopped by to once again, hear the humor of our own Xavier "Tim" Hall. The band also had many people dancing the night away. The fact that everybody was dressed in white, lent an air of elegance to the festivities.

Click here to see the video of Xavier "Tim" Hall showing out at Rascals

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Ebony Club All-White Party at Rascals.


Always a solemn occasion, the 2011 memorial service featured the traditional reading of names of the Douglass alumni who have passed on since the last reunion, symbolized with the lighting of a single candle in their memory. Guest speaker Rev. Helen Horton Styles reminded the group of the togetherness that bound Douglass alumni with the Riverview Community, and the humble beginnings where we all came from, dictate how we should represent ourselves in life. It was also a joyous reunion for former Douglass Tigerettes when former women's basketball player Johnnie Mae Nash stopped by. Some of her fellow Tigerettes spent quality time talking old times and experiences. Johnnie Mae has had health problems are just recently moved back to the Tri-Cities area from Michigan.

Click here to see some of the former Douglass Tigerettes singing their fight song.

Click here to see a slideshow and pictures from the Douglass-Ebony Club Alumni Memorial Service.

At the gathering, the 2011 Douglass Scholarship winners were announced. They are: Brenton T. Leeper, son of Tonya Leeper and his 'nanna' Shelia Leeper, who receives a $500 scholarship. He is attending Brevard College in North Carolina. His major is undecided, but he says, he's leaning towards studying psychology. Also awarded a $500 scholarship is Briasha D. Russell, daughter of Dion Russell and the granddaughter of Monique Henry will be majoring in exercise science at Carson-Newman College.
And D-B football standout Chris Sensabaugh is also the recipient of a $500 scholarship. Chris is the son of Pam and Brandon Sensabaugh and he plans to major in health science.

Also held this year, was the Ebony Club Alumni Association's business meeting at the Golden Corral, where the pursuit of a united reunion with the Douglass Alumni in two years, was discussed in a very positive direction.

BTW.. Donna Sensabaugh Morrisette was out taking pictures of the Reunions, too. Click here to see the pictures that Donna took on Reunion weekend.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: On a personal note, everybody had a good time at the reunions.. even your Douglass website manager capturing the events on camera for your enjoyment. I was glad to see everybody, and as you can see, somebody pegged me at either the Douglass get-together or the All-White party Saturday night, and left a calling card of lipstick on my cheek. I must have worn it for a couple of hours before it was noticed. I don't know who the culprit is.. I kissed so many women that Saturday night LOL!).

Start getting ready for Reunion 2013. It's going to be a beaut!