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By Chinta Strausberg

willie wilsonWhile gospel great Vickie Winans stole the show Monday, October 24, 2011, at the Chicago Baptist Institute International’s (CBI) 30th annual banquet held at the Condesa Del Mar, it was Dr. Willie Wilson who once again  donated yet another financial blessing to the 77-year-old Institute having recently prevented its foreclosure, gave $40,000 for a total of $130,000 in just three weeks.

Close to 2,000 ministers, congregations, business man and women and elected officials including Gov. Pat Quinn, Rep. Danny K. Davis, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, former Board President Bobbie Steele, Comms. Deborah Sims and Robert Steele, attended the BPI’s 30th annual banquet held at the Condesa Del Mar Banquet Room in Alsip, IL.

It was Wilson, who three-weeks ago took on the role of chairman of the Board of Trustees and erased a debt of $200,000 preventing the institution from being foreclosed upon, Monday gave another $40,000 bringing his total amount to $130,000 in just three-weeks.

“I will make sure this institution survives, but I’m not going to do it alone,” said Dr. Wilson. He challenged each one to stand if they would commit to donating a certain amount to CBI each month, then had others to stand showing their commitment to raise funds every six-months or once a year and to send students to the Institute so it will remain self-sufficient.

“I hope and my prayers are that who people who stood up and proclaimed their will understand the value of this institute and to do what ever they can to raise funds,” he said explaining he is not asking for a certain amount just a commitment to donate funds for the CBI.

‘In January, we are giving a breakfast for our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fundraiser and after that he will have another fundraiser for  Founder’s day in March or April of 2012 and on the first Sunday in July we will have a fundraiser for CBI ending with our annual 31st CBI annual banquet in October,” said Wilson.

But, Dr. Wilson is not stopping there. He has his eyes on the more than $500,000 he will need to make repairs to the historic CBI and already has plans on the table to build a banquet hall on CBI’s property so that people can hold their social and church functions there rather than go to other places outside of the community. Other’s present were: Justice Joy Cunningham, who is running for the Illinois Supreme Court, Spencer Leak and his wife, Henrietta, owners of the Leak & Sons Funeral Home, Pastor Tyrone Crider, Pastor Leonard DeVille who is former alderman of the 21st Ward and many others.

Davis called Wilson a “special guy” for getting Gov. Quinn and Preckwinkle “singing and rocking” and said he was glad he didn’t ask him.

Rev. Dr. John Gray introduced Rev. Dr. Johnny L. Miller who gave a tribute to Rev. Dr. J.B. Felker, first vice trustee board chairman of CBI, Jr.  Dr. Verdie Robinson-Curry gave a tribute to seniors, and Rev. Dr. Nathan Schaffer, Dean of Students, gave the recognition award presentation.

Dr. Wilson performed with his 18-piece orchestra band but it was Vickie Winans who rocked the house and had people dancing in the aisles.

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.

Photo Caption: Chinta Strausberg

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