On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links Incorporated will host its sixth annual Community Recognition and Scholarship Jazz Brunch where they will honor five individuals and one organization for their tremendous contributions to the greater Madison community.

The 2015 honorees are Marcia Anderson, Richard Davis, Theresa Sanders, Charles Tubbs, and Annie Weatherby-Flowers. American Girl’s A Fund for Children will also be recognized.

Richard Davis, professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison     . (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
Richard Davis, professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

The Links were first chartered in Madison on Aug. 31, 1985. Since its inception, the chapter has committed its membership and resources to educational, civic, and intercultural programs, and projects designed to enhance the academic achievement of K-12 students of African descent in the greater Madison and Beloit metropolitan areas.

Marcia Anderson
Marcia Anderson

“We are excited about our 30th anniversary and we are hoping to have a big gala next April 23 at Maple Bluff Country Club to celebrate our three decades of services,” says longtime Links member Karen Moser.

Social hour for the Community Recognition and Scholarship Jazz Brunch will start at 11 a.m. with time for networking and listening to jazz combo Kinfolk. This will be followed by the program and the presentation of awards.

Charles Tubbs
Charles Tubbs

“There are so many unbelievable nominees for us to choose from every year and it can be really, really hard for us just to pick a handful of awardees each year,” Moser tells Madison365. “My favorite awardees are those people who are working hard and doing great things in the community but don’t normally get recognized.”

This year, Moser is the Community Recognition and Scholarship Jazz Brunch Fundraiser co-chair along with fellow Links member Margaret Carpenter. All the money raised at the event will go to scholarships. “The money that we raise at this event is all earmarked for graduating minority high school seniors who are going on to college,” Moser says. “Last year, we gave out over $20,000 in scholarships to graduating high school students.”

The Links present those scholarships to students at their annual African-American Student Recognition Program at Madison College in May. This is one of their most important student-related endeavors where the Madison Links present almost 1,000 certificates of recognition to K-12 African-American students — elementary, middle, and high school — in the local area upon recommendation by their teachers.

The Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links Inc. has been doing quite a few positive things for the Madison community for three decades now. They do blood pressure screenings at different health fairs and partner with the 100 Black Men of Madison in events that help children. Some of the Links work out of the Mt. Zion church basement on Madison’s south side as tutors. Every year, the Links also host the “Yes I Can” conference to assist African American young women in learning what it means to be a real African American woman and to support them in developing themselves in their future academic and professional careers.

“Normally, the ‘Yes I Can’ conference is for eighth graders but this coming year we are looking to have sixth graders and then follow those kids for two years,” Moser says.

The Links' "Yes I Can" Conference is for area 8th graders.
The Links’ “Yes I Can” Conference is for area middle schoolers.

The Madison Links are a chapter of larger, national The Links Incorporated, founded in 1946, which is one of the oldest and largest of predominately African-American, not-for-profit, service organizations in the nation. “The Links started in Philadelphia when two friends were discussing how to respond to the needs of African Americans after World War II,” Moser says. “They had seven other people who joined them and they called themselves ‘Links’ because they were linked by the frame of friendship.”

Today, The Links’ membership consists of nearly 14,000 professional women in 281 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. “These are professional women from all kinds of different backgrounds who come together for a common cause of service to their communities,” Moser says.

There are 23 members in Madison right now. “We’re always looking for new members – people who are motivated and want to give back to the community. We’ve had a lot of great members over the years who have come and gone,” Moser says.

The annual Community Recognition and Scholarship Jazzy Brunch is a chance for prospective members to see what the Links are all about. It’s also a great chance for the community to come out and support an organization that is helping Madison-area children reach their full potential.

“It’s a great, fun event to go to and it’s a chance to network and meet other primarily professional African American women in Madison and beyond,” Moser says. “We are hoping for a wonderful turnout.”

On Saturday, Nov. 14, the Madison Metropolitan Chapter of the The Links Incorporated will host the 6th Annual Community Recognition and Scholarship Jazzy Brunch on Saturday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Madison Marriott West, 1313 John Q Hammons Drive in Middleton
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