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Local NAACP speakers urge voting this fall

The theme of Friday night’s NAACP Freedom Fund dinner was “When We Fight We Win,” so it was fitting the keynote speaker mentioned boxing champions Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman and Mike Tyson — three of whom (Ali, Frazier, and Foreman) won Olympic gold medals.

“I watched them at the peak of their careers. They worked long and hard to train for a fight,” said the Rev. Craven Rolle Jr. “Athletes train to win gold medals. We must train to compete for our gold medal.”

With the upcoming City Council elections, exercising the right to vote was a key theme at the 38th annual dinner for the Geneva Area Branch of the NAACP. Rolle, known as “CJ,” is the dean of students at the Renaissance Academy Charter School of The Arts in Rochester.

Lucile Mallard, longtime president of the Geneva NAACP branch, noted that Rolle is a gifted musician with a degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music. Last year he performed with Geneva’s Martin Luther King Jr. Choir.

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