The Family Community Development Corp. will honor two long-time board members during a banquet fundraiser.
Jewel Steward and Middie Cage will be recognized at the fundraiser on Saturday from 5-8 p.m. at the FCDC community center, 1001 N. Palm St. Tickets are $15.
Realizing the community had a lot of improvements to make, in 1952 a group called Jean’s Addition Improvement Association was formed, primarily to support efforts on the north side of Pine Bluff.
In 1993, the association was renamed FCDC and in 1994, the agency became an incorporated non-profit organization. FCDC is under the guidance of a board of directors and its president Bruce Lockett.
FCDC and area residents not only wanted to deal with the physical infrastructure of the community, but its social infrastructure to improve the quality of life for residents.
The two honorees have served in the northside community for many years.
A resident since the age of eight years old, Steward moved to Pine Bluff with her parents Ishmon “Bo” Gantt and Willie Gantt and three other children in 1940. She has been a member of the FCDC, beginning under the Jeans Addition Association, for many years. She was elected president of the FCDC board and served until 2002.
She has continued to work to accomplish the mission to make improvements in the community for homes, streets, and services for youth, adults and senior citizens.
“I am now 80 years old and I am praying for someone to love and care for this center and neighborhood as we have, so we can continue to improve the quality of life on the north side of Pine Bluff in the University Park Area,” Steward said.
Cage moved to Pine Bluff’s northside in the former Jeans Addition in December 1953. Cage became aware of the Jeans Addition organization through Steward and was glad to become a part of this group to help make a difference.
Cage worked with the organization making many steps forward serving in the community on a more personal level. Cage, who is the FCDC board treasurer, has been a volunteer for many different activities for FCDC and continues to do whatever she can for the community.
“I love what the community center stands for and I love what I was able to do and I wish to thank others for what they were able to do for us,” Cage said.