Scorchin’ Boxing Gym, under leadership of Blair County NAACP Treasurer Jeremiah Witherspoon, announces local boxing exhibition

Jeremiah “Spoon” Witherspoon, Jr, nephew of the late-Blair County NAACP President Donald E. Witherspoon, has been recognized many times for his efforts to support youth engagement, fitness, and mentorship with his program Leaders of Tomorrow. He was named Treasurer of the organization in the spring of 2021, along with the entire standing board of the Blair County NAACP, continuing the Witherspoon legacy of community activism.

According to an article in the Altoona Mirror, Leaders of Tomorrow is a “local program to give youth an outlet through fitness of both the mind and body” and “is the brainchild of Witherspoon, who was a professional boxer from 2010-15.” The program, based out of Scorchin’ Boxing Gym, at 2900 Beale Avenue, Altoona, PA, continues reaching to youth in the area and making a real impact in the quality of life in the Blair County area.

Now, the Scorchin’ Boxing Gym has announced a local event for amateur boxers in the area to showcase the fruits of their labor with “Spoon,” at a “Friday Night Fights” event, sponsored by Dorman’s and presented by Scorchin’ Boxing and Promotion. The event will take place today, Friday, November 5th 2021, at the Jaffa Shrine Circus building in Altoona, PA. Additional details can be seen in the image below.

The Blair County NAACP is proud to sponsor this and other community events, and will continue working through local organizations to increase mental, physical, spiritual, and economic health in the region, for people of all colors, creeds and backgrounds.

Blair County NAACP creates partnerships to mobilize voters

Throughout the month of October and into the month of November, the Blair County NAACP conducted several meetings to raise voter awareness and mobilize souls to the polls. The Blair County Branch, under the leadership of President Andrae Holsey, co-organized and hosted a Candidate forum with Indivisible – Blair County and the PSU Altoona Political Science Society on Penn State University – Altoona Campus at the Laurel Pavilion. This event provided students and community members the opportunity to engage local election candidates, meet local non-profit groups committed towards racial and economic justice, and register both to vote and/or join the NAACP. Attendees included Blair County NAACP President Andrae Holsey, PSU Altoona Chancellor Dr. Lori Bechtel-Wherry, AASD School Board Member Rick Hoover, AASD School Board Candidate Tina Johnston, Altoona City Council Member Dave Butterbaugh, Altoona City Council Candidates Bridgette Jackson, Mike Leonard, and Dave Ellis, PSU Political Science Society President Maleah Orr, Indivisible – Blair County President Carol Evon Taylor, dozens of other community acitivists and dozens of community members.

The event was such a success that PSU Altoona Student, Eilinora Hesther was inspired to partner with the PSU Altoona Office of Diversity & Inclusion, under the leadership of Sue Patterson, to host a second event on November 1st, allowing students from Economically-Disadvantaged and LGBTQ+, Ethno-racial, , and Religious minority groups to question several candidates on how they could serve their individual communities. Darius Morgan, Bridgette Jackson, and Mike Leonard answered questions from the public with support from Sue Patterson, Blair County NAACP Executive Committee Member / Former- Blair County Commissioner Donna Gority, and President Holsey.

The dialogue fostered at each of these events, as well as several other community-focused events welcoming local election candidates to express their views offered promise for peoples in minority communities and began the steps necessary to ensure racial, educational, economic, genderal, and religious equality in Blair County and beyond.

RTE 22 Rock & Blues Festival

A few weeks ago at the RTE 22 Rock & Blues Festival, hosted by ActiveAltoona.com, The Pennsoulvanians reminded us that the Keystone State does indeed have SERIOUS soul. But, don’t worry if you didn’t experience Chet Denny and the gang. They will be the entertainment for the Blair Co NAACP’s First Annual Freedom Fighter Gala on October 27th, 6PM, at The Casino at Lakemont Park. Tickets can be purchased at https://centralpatickets.com/…/the-freedom-fighter-gala… .

Celebrating the life and legacy of Blair County NAACP past-President, Don Witherspoon

This past December, the Blair Co. NAACP Chapter #2252 bid farewell to its president of the past 3 decades. Blair Co. NAACP past-President Don “Spoon” Witherspoon passed away on December 27th, 2020, at the age of 77, from complications related to COVID-19. Don was a father-figure to the community, a mentor to the troubled, and a voice of reason in times when tensions were high. He is remembered as a staunch advocate for the rights of the incarcerated, people of color, and the impoverished. Since the late-1980s, Don oversaw the operation of the Blair Co. NAACP, administering hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and business financial aid, visiting with inmates at the Blair Co. Jail to ensure that they were treated fairly, and recognizing and awarding leadership on athletic fields, in classrooms, in courtrooms, and in the community. For more about Don’s life and legacy, please visit any of the links below: