Fraternity hosting benefit banquet


Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.

Gainesville's own Kenneth Lawson, secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, will share his experiences and insights at a banquet to raise money for high school students in Alachua and Levy counties.

Facts

ALPHA BANQUET

What: The Nu Eta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Founders Day Banquet.
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 8.
Where: Springhill Baptist Church, 120 SE Williston Road.
Tickets: $35.
Information: Call 352-258-1940.

The Nu Eta Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. annual Founders Day Banquet, now in its eighth year, will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at Springhill Baptist Church at 120 SE Williston Road. Tickets, which are $35 each, will be available through Tuesday by calling 352-374-9994 or 352-258-1940.

"Brother Lawson is an engaging speaker," said Darrell Johnson, banquet coordinator and the fraternity's business manager. "He represents the fraternity's ideals of scholarship, leadership and service."

Alpha Phi Alpha was established in 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

"Education is our main focus," Johnson said. "We have a legacy of community service based on education."

Johnson said Founders Day is the fraternity's signature fundraiser to provide scholarships for high school seniors.

He said last year, three seniors each received $500 scholarships.

Johnson said Lawson grew up in Gainesville and graduated from Gainesville High School. He also graduated from the Florida State University College of Law. His legal career began in the United States Marine Corps. Since then, Lawson has served as assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, assistant secretary of Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Treasury and assistant chief counsel for field operations with the Department of Homeland Securits Transportation Security Administration.

In the private sector, Lawson served as a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, a U.S. government contractor, including one year as chief of party for the Financial Crimes Prevention Project in Jakarta, Indonesia. Most recently, Johnson said Lawson served as vice president of Compliance at nFinanSe Inc., a financial services company in Tampa.

Last year, Johnson said about 150 people attended the banque, but this year, about 120-150 are expected to attend.

Johnson said those who attend will hear an engaging speaker, while also helping to raise funds for scholarships.

"We need them to help us support our programs," Johnson said. "We're still trying to be role models for our young men."

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