County Honors 6 Living Legends Friday

The 8th annual presentation of the African American Living Legend Awards kicks off the county’s 26th annual celebration of Juneteenth, Friday, June 16.

County Executive Marc Elrich will present the African American Living Legend Award to six Montgomery County residents Friday night. The six recipients are Henry Hailstock, Jr., Rev. Theresa M. Henderson, Pauline G. Johnson, Sheila G. Ogilvie, Vernon H. Ricks, Jr. and Lt. Colonel Shelton (Ivan) Ware.

The African American Living Legend Awards honor distinguished individuals who have helped shape the cultural heritage of the African American community. The 2023 awards will be presented to six individuals who have dedicated their lives to service, advocacy and selfless acts of kindness to their community. The ceremony is being held at the BlackRock Center of the Arts in Germantown at 7 p.m. on Friday and is open to the public.

The BlackRock Center of the Arts is also holding events on Saturday, June 17 for the holiday. The free family-friendly celebration features food, dance classes, art exhibits, concerts, and much more. Festivities this year include the “Trail of Knowledge” educational passport activities, food trucks, and a journey of historical African American music and artistic entertainment. The celebration takes place from noon to 10:00 p.m. For more information about the events or to register, click here.

Ride On will also provide shuttle service to the attendees of the Juneteenth Celebration. The shuttles will operate between Seneca Valley High School, Montgomery College Germantown Campus, and the Black Rock Center. They will run every 15 minutes between noon and 11:30 p.m.

Juneteenth commemorates the 158th anniversary of June 19, 1865, the day that the last slaves in the Confederacy were delivered the Emancipation Proclamation and liberated in Galveston, Texas by Union troops. President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday in 2021.

2023 African American Living Legend Award Recipients

  • Henry Hailstock, Jr. A resident of Montgomery County for more than 44 years, the Washington, D.C., native is a U. S. Army veteran and a former NFL offensive lineman. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP and is a former president of the Montgomery County chapter. He has served on the advisory board for the Universities at Shady Grove, is a lifetime member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and is a member of the Montgomery County Pan Hellenic Council. He served as chair of the Kappa Youth and Community Foundation, which provides scholarships and support to numerous aspiring college students. A longtime employee of Giant Foods, he was the employment manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region and was later promoted to a newly created role of minority affairs manager, a position that gave him greater ability to impact lives in the region. Mr. Hailstock has previously been honored as a member of the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission Hall of Fame.
  • Rev. Theresa M. Henderson. A daughter of Clayton Matthews, a pitcher for the Baltimore Black Sox Negro League team, and Geneva McKinney, Rev. Henderson is a mother of six and also helped raise her husband’s three siblings when they lost their mother at a young age. Now a Derwood resident with her husband, Roy, their home has been a refuge for any child or adult in need. In 1983, Rev. Henderson took a job as a Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) bus operator and became president of the MCPS Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Department of Transportation. In her 60s, Rev. Henderson began her life of ministry. She is the pastor of the Light of Faith Non-Denominational Church in Derwood.
  • Pauline G. Johnson. A resident for Montgomery County for more than 50 years, Ms. Johnson recently celebrated her 86th birthday. Throughout her life, she has been a continuous advocate for voter registration and civic engagement. She has organized registrar trainings and often can be found at the Wheaton Library or other community events staffing a voter registration table. She has served on the County Commission for Women and the County Commission for Landlord Tenant Affairs. She assisted with a symposium for African American parents to address disparate treatment of children in Montgomery County Public Schools. As president of the Rollingwood Apartments Tenants Association, she led the effort to negotiate with the landlord to restrict rent increases. Ms. Johnson worked as an attorney for the U.S. Agency for International Development for three decades. During her employment, she traveled worldwide. She was posted to Kenya from September 1997 to March 2002. She survived the U.S. Embassy bombing in 1998.
  • Sheila G. Ogilvie. Retired after 25 years with the U.S. Treasury Department Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Silver Spring resident is currently the producer and host of “Transforming Lives — Giving Back to the Community.” It is a weekly program broadcasted on Montgomery Community Media and local cable channels that spotlights individuals, companies and charities that work to improve the quality of life for residents. Ms. Ogilvie is a charter member and past president of the Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and past president and board member of the PVAC Fund. She has served on the boards of the National Capital Area Alzheimer’s Association and the Business Advisory Council of the Marriott Foundation’s Bridges from School to Work Program — a nonprofit organization that trains and finds employment for youth with disabilities.
  • Vernon H. Ricks, Jr. A third generation Washingtonian, he attended D.C. public schools and was a member of the first class to integrate and graduate from McKinley Technical High School after the 1954 Brown v. The Board of Education Supreme Court decision. After serving in the Air Force and working in the field of electronics, he was hired by Xerox Corporation, where he retired after 33 years. At Xerox, he was recruited to work with a team to develop the company’s affirmative action program. He became the first African American to hold a municipal office in Montgomery County when he was elected as a Councilmember, and later became and Mayor Pro-tem, of the City of Takoma Park from 1972-82. Mr. Ricks also has served on the boards of directors of the National League of Cities and the Maryland Municipal League. He met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Regan on matters affecting the nation’s cities. This Potomac resident was selected to the Montgomery County Human Rights Commission’s Hall of Fame and has been honored with the Maryland State NAACP Hall of Fame Award, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Community Service Award and the 2022 Epic Trailblazer Award. Ricks is Vice President of MCM’s Board of Directors.
  • Lt. Colonel Shelton (Ivan) Ware, USAF, Ret. In January, Lt. Colonel Ware celebrated his 100th birthday. His amazing career includes being on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, on July 3, 1944, as part of the D-Day invasion. His unit “kept the wheels rolling and the guns firing” as part of the renowned Red Ball Express. After the end of World War II, he served another six months of occupation duty in Munich, Germany. He earned service stars for the Battle of Normandy and the Battle of Northern France. After returning to the U.S., he graduated from Howard University and remained in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program. His career included a year as commander with the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Minuteman Missile Education Program (MMEP) at Malmstrom AFB (Mont.) and as director of all six MMEP detachments. He retired from the Air Force in 1974 after 30 years of service. Lt. Colonel Ware is a charter member of the East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. He served three terms as the organization’s director. He was recently honored with the creation of the ECCTAI Lt. Col. (Ret) Ivan Ware ROTC Award, which will be presented to deserving cadets from Howard University, Bowie State University and University of Maryland.

Previous Recipients of the African American Living Legend Award


  • Pearl Green
  • Rosalyn Cain King
  • Anita Neal Powell
  • Ambassador Curtis A. Ward
  • Alma L. Williams


  • Elwood Rafael Gray
  • Reverend Dr. Sterling King Jr.
  • Willie Pearl Mackey King
  • John H. Macklin
  • Hercules Pinkney


  • Winston A. Anderson
  • Irene Coleman
  • Warren Crutchfield
  • Arva M. Jackson
  • Arthur L. Williams
  • The Reverend Dr. Ruby Reese Moone


  • Sol Graham
  • Arthur Holmes, Jr.
  • Harvey Ziegler
  • Samuel C. Hamilton, Esq.


  • Christine Clarke
  • Odessa M. Shannon
  • Wilma K. Holmes
  • Ruby A. Rubens


  • Delores Lincoln-Willis


  • Marilyn Hughes Gaston
  • Irma Ramsey Cuellar
  • Lorraine Elizabeth Mosby

There was not a program in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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