Torch of Wisdom Foundation Hosts 10th Anniversary of Recognizing Local Heroes 

2021 Honoring Local Heroes Honorary Co-Chairs Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler join Torch of Wisdom Foundation President and Board Chair Beverly Allen at the 10th Anniversary Celebration.

Photo provided by The Torch of Wisdom Foundation


The Torch of Wisdom Foundation (TOWF) hosted its 10th Anniversary Celebration, Honoring Local Heroes, the Black “No-Tie” Affair on Friday, October 8 at the Roostertail in Detroit.

This year’s theme, Carrying The Torch: The Power of Now!, was dedicated to individuals who have continued to persevere and serve their local community in profound and impactful ways. Serving as Honorary Chair is Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (D-MI, 14th District) along with Honorary Co-Chairs Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler.

Honoring Local Heroes recognized local individuals and groups who have persevered and excelled in spite of the pandemic in the areas of Scholarship, Cultural Arts, and Community Enrichment.

The Torch of Wisdom Foundation was established in 1993.  It provides grants to support scholastic achievement and community service programs.  The TOWF raises funds for scholarship programs that heighten awareness of the arts and expose the talents and works of local and nationally known artists; and for initiatives that strengthen and enrich its communities.

Beverly Allen, chairperson/president, of Torch of Wisdom Foundation, spoke to the Michigan Chronicle before the event and spoke about being thrilled about celebrating the 10th anniversary of the annual event.

“I think it’s just gotten bigger,” Allen said, adding that the mission of the Torch of Wisdom Foundation is toward promoting “community enrichment, cultural arts and scholarships” as part of honoring local heroes.

“We give awards to individuals who are doing wonderful things in the community to support fellow citizens,” Allen said. “Ten years from now I see this (as getting) bigger and (we will) still be honoring those who are doing wonderful things in the community.”


This year’s honorees are:


Community Enrichment

Devon Buskin

President/Founder, Detroit City Lions Youth Club


Cultural Arts

Tamara Hawkins

Owner & Director, The Zone Dance Center, LLC



Ralph C. Bland

CEO, New Paradigm for Education

In addition to honoring local heroes recipients, Governor Gretchen Whitmer received her award as the 2021 Trailblazer of the Year. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was also be honored with their ICON award.


“Honoring Local Heroes is our unique and signature event,” said Allen in a release. “It is important to uplift and honor our unsung heroes who went above and beyond during this challenging time. Whether they came to the aid of others, made the hard, sometimes unpopular decisions for the greater good of our community, or just worked with and through the uncertainty of times, we salute these individuals and groups who were stable and unwavering when we needed it most.”

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist agreed.

“I think it’s beautiful – I think that what this organization represents (is a) multifaceted approach to support the community, school, arts, and culture,” Gilchrist said, adding that the recognition is needed. “I’m proud to co-chair this event this year. I am very humbled to be an honoree last year.”





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