linda-johnson.jpgDoLores Smith Washington recently celebrated her “Diamond Jubilee” in Miami. Washington’s friends, Shirley Lewis Archie, Evelyn Bethune (Tampa), Priscilla Adams Dobbs and Geneva Woodard, served as hostesses for a weekend of events to mark the once-in-a-lifetime milestone. 

A lifelong community servant, Washington invited family and friends to join her at the ribbon cutting of the Black Archives’ Lyric Theater Welcome Center Complex, The Links’ childhood obesity initiative project and the Trayvon Day of Remembrance Peace Walk.  The festivities concluded with a worship service at the Church of the Open Door followed by lunch at Season’s 52 Restaurant in Coral Gables.

Inarguably, the highlight of the weekend was an elegant dinner party at Archie’s home for Washington’s closest admirers.  The evening began with cocktails in the butterfly garden followed by a celebration of friendship and memories.  Guests, who were attired in black and white with a splash of pink, were served a delectable Southern style meal amidst pink roses and candlelight while enjoying the incomparable soulful sounds of Dr. Edward G. Robinson. A beautiful pictorial journal chronicling Washington’s life was presented to her, and every guest received a copy as a keepsake. Among those seen on the weekend scene were:  Nicole Archie, Pearl Bethel, Carolyn Blake, Cynthia M. Clarke, Marlene Desdunes, Barbara Edwards, Dorothy Fields, Eddye Gay, Carol Ann Johnson, Portia McKissie, Sandra Pelman, Gwendolyn Robinson, Carolyn Smith, Jeris Smith, Leona Swilley, Shelain Welters, Jewell Wilson, Mercita Wimberly, Catherine Wright,  Linda Wright and Carol Young.

The erudite members of the Gamma Omicron Chapter of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc., presented their “Red Dress/Red Tie Luncheon” at Jungle Island in Miami.  The inspirational event was a combined celebration of outstanding Miami-Dade County educators and Black History Month.

The honorees were:  Lisa Spicer Anderson, middle school science teacher; Gwendolyn Haynes-Evans, principal of Shadowlawn Elementary School; Dr. Mia Y. Merritt, education administrator and author; Dr. Edward G. Robinson, principal of Brownsville Middle School; Jacquelle Sconiers, mathematics teacher and former Miami-Dade County Public Schools Teacher of the Year; and Kenneth L. Williams, assistant principal of Hialeah Senior High School.

The program, emceed by Dr. Sharrie D. Collins, featured entertainment by soloists Willie Minor and Treva B. Harrell (ably accompanied by Dr. Robinson), and a liturgical dance by Harrell’s daughter, Kala. Cupidine D. Dean serves as the chapter president and Lola J. Clark was the event chairperson. Among those also seen on the scene were:  Delores D. Hills, Brenda Johnson, Patricia Johnson, Linda Rogers, Katie-May Taylor and Paula J. Wright.

Linda J. Johnson, a Miami native, is a veteran educator with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a certified etiquette consultant, and also serves on nonprofit boards in the community. She can be reached at