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Links to recognize 5 women

The Natchez branch of The Links will commemorate five extraordinary women at the Alexander Junior High auditorium April 30 at 5 p.m.

“This is going to be a night of grace and glamour,” Jacqueline Evans, vice president of the Natchez branch, said.

The event is open to the public.

Edith Richardson

Edith Richardson

The Natchez branch of The Links serves Adams, Clairborne, Lawrence, Lincoln and Pike counties, and each one will have an extraordinary woman honored at the event.

For Lincoln County, the extraordinary woman for 2016 is Edith Richardson. Richardson is a Lincoln County native with six siblings.

“Her childhood of preparation, aspiration and attitude of success propelled her into a life of grace and purpose,” The Links said.

Richardson graduated from Alexander High School in 1943. She continued her education at Jackson College where she was elected “Miss Jackson College,” and where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with a minor in arts education. Her master’s in Elementary Education was received from the University of Colorado.

“Richardson’s life purpose has centered on preparing children for academic excellence,” The Links said. “She holds teaching certification from three states: Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. Her lifelong elementary teaching experiences include four years at West Helena, Arkansas and 33 years in Beaumont, Texas. She received numerous educational honors and accolades, including ‘Who’s Who in Texas Education’, while working with children from various socio-economic backgrounds, multi-racial and multi-ethnic groups. Her life has been enriched as she has impacted the lives of countless young people.”

The Links said Richardson has been a valuable member of the group for 30 years, serving as the chapter archivist and chairperson for numerous committees.

Each county will also have a soloist sing a song in tribute to their honoree. For Richardson, Jacqueline Bates will perform “Wind Beneath my Wings” by Jeff Silbar and Larry Henley.

The Links is an international non-profit community service organization for women founded in 1946. The Natchez branch incorporated in 1986.

“The members of The Links are influential decision makers and opinion leaders,” the group stated in a news release. “The Links has attracted many distinguished women who are individual achievers and who have made a difference in their communities and the world.

“With more than 2 million service hours recorded in the past three years, members regularly contribute more than 500,000 documented service hours in their respective communities annually.”

Members provide a number of programs for the community like the ESTEMers program, where students are taught to embrace science, technology, engineering and math, starting in junior high.

“We want more people to get involved in it,” Evans said. “It really is a great program.”

ESTEMers is a six-year program. Evans said program members are given tangible incentives for their participation. Seniors who complete the program also receive scholarships.