Feed the Hungry Project proudly presents the 10th Annual Formal All-Black Attire MLK Gala! We look forward to celebrating this year's MLK Gala with you on February 24th!
For ticket purchases, please visit our event page:
Doors Open at 5 pm
Champion Mills Conference Center, 600 N B Street, Hamilton OH
Valet parking will be provided for this black tie event. All black attire is recommended.
Ticket Price: $100 per attendee (10 Guests per table)
Darlene Bishop-Driscoll made a commitment to Christ at fourteen years of age. At that time, she felt the call of God on her life and desired to be used in ministry. Today, she pastors the dynamic, multi-cultural Solid Rock Church with two campuses, one in Lebanon and the other in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is also President and Founder of the Darlene Bishop Home for Life, a residential home for women who are pregnant or dealing with life destructive choices. Under the tutelage of Pastor Bishop-Driscoll, the lives of many young women have been transformed by this ministry. She is also a nationally known conference speaker with a powerful testimony. In March 1986, she was physically attacked with sickness in her body, but trusted completely in the Word of God for her healing. By July 21st of that same year, God completely healed her body! Her test became a testimony that has taken her around the world and given her the opportunity to pray for thousands of women who have since been healed. When not at Solid Rock Church or at a conference, you can now catch her on the fresh, new talk show, “Sisters”, along with her daughter, Jana Mitten, the great gospel singer Shirley Murdock and friend, Arlene Parker. The “Sisters” airs weekly on BET, the Church Channel, Daystar and the Word Network.
Kee Edwards was born and raised in Middletown and was educated in the Middletown City School District. He is a second-generation educator, following in the footsteps of his mother, Ms. Edrena Jones. He graduated from Middletown High School in 1993 and received His Bachelor of Education from Alabama A&M University in 1997. He went on to further his education by receiving his Master of Education from Miami University in 2002, and his Superintendents Licensure in 2019. He began his career as a second grade teacher at the former Taft Elementary School and then later grew into administration as an intern Principal at Vail Middle School, Assistant Principal at Wilson/McKinley, and finally Principal at Rosa Parks and Miller Ridge Elementary Schools. Under his leadership, Rosa Parks earned the honor of High Progress from the Ohio Department of Education in 2013. Mr. Edwards is currently the Senior Director of Human Resources for the Middletown City School District.
In addition to being active in his community, Mr. Edwards is also an entrepreneur, sharing co-ownership of “No. 1 Ohio” Lifestyle clothing brand with his son. He most enjoys spending his time with his wife Marie, their three children Ashlyn, Kee’J, and Selah, and his grandson, Vincent.
Stephen L. Hightower President and CEO of Hightowers Petroleum Co. (HPC) has performed more than 1.7 billion over the past 5 years providing energy solutions. A self-made entrepreneur since 1979, Mr. Hightower grew his Ohio Nationwide-based wholesale fuel distribution company into an International energy solutions enterprise covering the entire energy value chain, from petroleum supply to energy solutions. Currently servicing every state in the lower forty-eight, Hightower continues to grow within the Energy verticals.
Mr. Hightower has extensive skills in developing and operating business enterprises, managing Global Supply Chains and rapid growth strategies while navigating governmental and regulatory approvals. With a National and International footprint, Steve's energy related solutions along with a commercial and construction company since 1979.
As President and Chairman of Hightower Energy, an energy development company that engage
engineering and technology as a “managed service provider” to reduce energy consumption and to
create alternative power via micro grids, EV Charging Infrastructure, Green Hydrogen, trading of Green Credits and Solar applications. Hightower has been active in the development of clean power generation with a focus on the continent of Africa and the Americas.
Hightower served at the pleasure of former Presidents Obama and Trump, with two appointments at
the Department of Interior’s “National Park Foundation.” He also served three appointments at the
“National Petroleum Council” which was continued under President Biden.
Hightowers Petroleum Co. through the leadership of Mr. Stephen Hightower, continues to provide its
customers with unique processes as a licensed Motor Fuel Dealer and has built a supply chain that
“Exceeds Expectations” while “Fueling Global Energy Needs” one customer at a time!
Jerry Lucas is one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game. Lucas
is one of only three players in history to win championships at every level (high school, college, NBA, Olympics); was named one of the Top Fifty players in NBA history and named one of the Top 15 All-Time March Madness Players. Mr. Lucas started his ascent into basketball greatness while in high school in Middletown and later at The Ohio State University. By the end of his collegiate career, Mr. Lucas amassed numerous accolades including becoming a three-time All-American, a three-time Big Ten Player of the Year, a National Championship in 1960, and named National Player of the Year twice. In 1999, Sports Illustrated named Mr. Lucas one of the five most outstanding college basketball players of the 20th century. He went on to represent the USA in the 1960 Olympic Games, helping the team earn a gold medal. During his NBA career, he was named 1963-1964 Rookie of the Year with the Cincinnati Royals, was a 7-time All-Pro, the NBA All-Star Game MVP, and is the only forward in league history to pull down 40 rebounds in a game. In 1973, he was a member of the New York Knicks World Championship team. He retired from the NBA to pursue his passion for education and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979. Mr. Lucas went on to develop The Lucas Learning System™, which is a memory retention and learning system that earned him the title of Dr. Memory™. Through the years, he has taught his memory retention and learning system to millions and co-authored The Memory Book, which was a New York Times Best-Seller and sold over 3.5 million copies. Dr. Memory™ is now widely regarded as the world’s leading authority in memory training and learning systems. Mr. Lucas latest memory system, Dr. Memory’s Universe™, is an interactive web-based digital platform is geared towards making learning fun and easy for kids and adults.
Jackie Phillips-Carter is the Health Commissioner for the Middletown City Health Department. She has been intricately involved with health care for over 40 years. She joined the Health Department in 1997 and held the position of Health Educator working with the African American Community focusing on heart health. Jackie also held the position of Vital Statistics Registrar and Director of Nursing before attaining her current position in 2010 as Health Commissioner. Mrs. Phillips-Carter has vast knowledge in early child development that she achieved while directly working under renowned pediatrician and author Dr. T. Berry Brazelton and his Touch Point Developmental Tool. She has had extensive training in Trauma Informed Care and is a huge proponent of early identification and intervention of adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s). Currently Mrs. Phillips-Carter has engrossed herself in the strategies, education and programs involving Harm Reduction, the concept of reducing harm, keeping people alive while moving them to optimal health. She is a current member of the Ohio Public Health Association, Southwest Ohio Health Commissioners Association, Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities, YWCA and other boards and organizational affiliations in the Middletown/Butler County community. She received her Master’s in Public Health from Boonshoft School of Medicine from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Miami University, and Associate Nursing degree from Kettering College of Medical Arts in Kettering, Ohio. Mrs. Phillips-Carter is married to Charles Cedell Carter Sr. She has one daughter, Jordan Lee Kavanaugh, three grandsons, William Patrick, Jr., Dominic Jackson, and Jean-Pierre, and one granddaughter, Jai Elle. She also has two bonus children Charles Cedell Carter Jr., and Desiren McHenry which brought three more bonus grandsons, Landon, Charles Cedell, III and Camello.
Jacqueline A. Silas-Butler, Esq. has served as the Executive Director of Project GRAD Akron, a program to increase the high school and college graduation rates of students in selected schools with Akron Public Schools, since 2006. A native of Middletown, Ohio, she grew up in Madison Township and attended Madison Local Schools, graduating from Madison High School with honors in 1977. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981 in History and Political Science from The Ohio State University and her Juris Doctorate degree in 1984 from The University of Akron School of Law. A licensed attorney in the State of Ohio since 1984, her legal career includes serving as a Magistrate with both the Summit County Juvenile Court and the Summit County Domestic Relations Court; an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney with the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office; an Adjunct Professor at The University of Akron School of Law; and an Adjunct Professor at the University’s undergraduate school. Mrs. Silas-Butler is a pillar of the community and has served on numerous boards, commissions, and committees. She is married to Lawrence B. Butler, Jr., a retired music teacher from the Akron Public Schools, and they have one adult son, Christopher. She is the daughter of Elizabeth P. Silas and the late Frank Silas, Sr. of Middletown. She enjoys spending time with her immediate and extended family, genealogy, scrapbooking, history, reading, politics, and engagement.
On behalf of the Feed the Hungry Project, I would like to take this time to thank our honorees, sponsors, and the community for their continued support in ensuring the success of our annual MLK galas, and for sharing our passion for feeding the hungry.
Thank you to our generous sponsors and altruistic honorees for always providing the necessary tools and resources needed to carry out the vision of late Mrs. Louella Thompson's Dream Center. I look forward to your continued support as we work together to make a positive impact in the lives of our community.
Deborah R. Patterson
Feed the Hungry Project