ESPER's 30th Anniversary celebration took place during the weekend of November 2-4, 2018, at the Embassy Suites in Crystal City, Virginia. The Anniversary Committee under the leadership of Jean Lewis planned a few activities that included community outreach events at local schools and at the Anacostia Community Museum. On Friday, we were invited to two local schools. This was called ESPER Goes to School, “Inspiring Future Philatelists.” Presentations were done at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School and Charles Drew Elementary School. Members gave presentations on stamp collecting and Black history.
On Friday afternoon, we had “Stampin’ Around D.C.” Several members and guests were on a chartered bus taking a tour of landmarks in the nation’s capital related to African Americans. Our tour bus guide was ESPER member Dr. Norrece T. Jones, Jr., historian and retired Associate Professor of African American Studies and History at Virginia Commonwealth University. Each tour attendee received a red D.C. tote bag, a special bus ID, and a “passport” (created by Betty Session).
On Friday evening, ESPER members and guests got to meet and greet and mingle at the Blue Carpet Event, a welcome reception and an opportunity to show and tell about “My Favorite Stamp.” The room included the ESPER banner, a special backdrop and blue carpeted area for photo ops, and the favorite stamps on display for review.
On Saturday morning, several ESPER members went to the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum for a fun- filled time with youngsters and adults alike. Displays and hands-on activities helped the community learn about Black history and African Americans on stamps. During the museum event, children were able to use props to dress up to look like Bessie Coleman, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, or A. Phillip Randolph. Jean and Betty are working on putting the kids’ panels/ quilt together to be on display at the museum. Our founder, Dr. Esper G. Hayes, spoke to children and parents. Saturday afternoon we had workshops and a bourse (sales area) where philatelic items or related items could be purchased.
Saturday evening featured our 30th Anniversary’s Blue Velvet Banquet. Our evening affair included dinner, presentations of awards, a silent auction with 70 items up for bid, and door prizes. Our special speaker was ESPER’s founder, Dr. Esper G. Hayes, whose message focused on pride. During the evening’s affair, two student re-enactors were present and popular with the crowd. They portrayed Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
Our anniversary ended on Sunday morning with breakfast and a general meeting. We had attendees/representatives from 15 different states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Stampin' Around D.C.
Front row (l-r): Phillip Williams, M. Rosina Major, Warachal Faison, Beatrice Cox, Elizabeth Rankin-Fulcher, Gregory Slaughter, Walter Faison, Esper Hayes, Earnest Shinault, Clarence McKnight, Betty Session, Jean Lewis, and Bob Fields. Second row (l-r): Cayla Hall (Harriet Tubman), Joan Williams, Lauretta Chisholm, Lynda Thompson, Eloise Harris, Melissa Hinkson, Sandra Weaver, Felix Perez-Folch, Farnese Hicks, Ricky Johnson, Leon Lee, Howard Ingram, Rhonda Ingram, Karen Bertha, Regina Bullock, Julie Leak, Charlene Blair, and David Nicholas (Frederick Douglass). Back row (l-r): Debra Cherry, Don Patterson, Mark Thompson, Tony Thaxton, Jr., John Allen, Robert Cox, Calvin Mitchell, William Jordan, Betty Lewis, Oneal Tyler, Yvonne Singley, Mary Love, Jane Mays, Norrece T. Jones, Jr., Horace Baldwin, Don Conway, Vivian Roscoe, Don Neal, Eretta Morris, Edgar Hicks, and Nadine Shinault.
30th Anniversary Video Part 1
Blue Carpet Event and
Welcome Reception One
30th Anniversary Video Part 2
Blue Carpet Event and
Welcome Reception Two
Blue Carpet Banquet pictures group one
Blue Carpet Banquet pictures group two
"My Favorite Stamp"
at Meet and Greet
Calvin Mitchell cancelling Anacostia post card at local post office
Betty Lewis, Betty Session, Sandra Weaver, and Eretta Morris
Charlene Blair and Dr. Esper G. Hayes
at breakfast in hotel
Photos are from Tony Thaxton, Jr., Charlene Blair, Jean Lewis, Betty Session, Warachal Faison, Sandra Weaver, Karen Bertha, Don Neal, and Jane Mays.
Some photos taken throughout our event were done by Tony Thaxton, Jr. and can be viewed at www.travelenjoylife.com. Prints can be ordered from this site.
Our 30th Anniversary Videos were produced by Don Patterson for DDCP Communications.