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2023 Horace Ruben Scholarship Gala

Greetings! On behalf of the Brothers of W.C. Thomas Lodge #112, I would to welcome you to our 2023 Horace Ruben Scholarship Gala. The Brothers are thankful to each you that have taken to the time to support and invest in our efforts to engage with and uplift youth and families in our community. For 131 years, W.C. Thomas Lodge #112 has continued to raise the level through our committed and active engagement in the Atlanta community.


As part of our Lodge’s school engagement efforts, we have focused our energy and resources on creating a “Cradle to College/Career Pipeline” for our youth. The scholarships provided at this year’s gala are part of those efforts to provide additional financial support for students as they prepare for higher education and for those that still have needs during their first year. Our young adults need us now more than ever, and with your generous donations and gifts we can continue to invest in these future leaders as they put in the work to achieve their goals.

Thank you for your continued generosity and support for W.C. Thomas Lodge #112. Your commitment to this Lodge aids us in our ability to be transformative in the lives of young people, families, schools, and our communities.

Enjoy the evening!

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Fraternally Yours,


Raphael L. Holloway, 33°
Worshipful Master
W.C. Thomas Lodge #112

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W.C. Thomas Lodge #112

Known as the "Institute Of Higher Learning" the mission of W.C. Thomas Lodge #112 is to provide an environment of inspiration and engagement of good men for the betterment of their families, community, faith, country and to the fraternity. Guided by brotherly love, relief and truth; these great principles are outwardly expressed through our dedication to fellowship, service in the community and caring for our widows and elderly brothers.

Meet Our Keynote Speaker,
Mr. James "Jay" Bailey

Committed to living by his personal motto, “Build As We Climb”, change agent, thought leader, entrepreneur and emerging philanthropist, James M. Bailey has dedicated his life to serving others.


James serves as the President and CEO of the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE), honoring the great legacy and visionary business leadership of Herman J. Russell, Sr.  A $50 million dollar endeavor, he leads the development of the largest center in the world, dedicated to empowering Black businesses; upon completion the center will offer over 70,000 square feet designed to inspire BIG IDEAS, create jobs, grow companies, and increase wealth in the community.


An Atlanta native and die-hard Georgia Bulldog, James has a proven track record of success, recognized by 3 U.S. Presidents for his leadership and community efforts. In 2012, James was one of eight Americans honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change: Following in the Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer service.


As a Downtown Atlanta Rotarian, James exemplifies “Service Above Self”, serving on numerous boards including both the Georgia Chamber and Metro Atlanta Chamber Board of Directors, Fulton County Sherriff’s Office Foundation, Invest Atlanta Foundation, Passport Atlanta, the Veritas School, and the Atlanta Speech School Board of Directors. He is a Georgia Forestry Foundation Trustee, nationally recognized landowner, and served as the founding Chairman of Citizens Trust Bank’s Next Generation Advisory Board.


A National Point of Light Award recipient, James was recently named one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s POWER 100 Most Influential Leaders, Atlanta Magazine’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders in the City, and Georgia Trend Magazine’s, “Georgia 500: Most Influential Leaders in the State”.


A graduate of Leadership Georgia, Leadership Atlanta, and the Regional Leadership Institute, He is a recipient of the coveted Whitney M. Young National Community Service Medallion, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Service Award, the Maynard Jackson Community Impact Award, and the Bernie Marcus Downtown Economic Impact Award. An Aspen Institute IDEAS Festival, member of Alpha Phi Alpha and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.


James, his wife, NBC News correspondent Blayne Alexander and their daughter Sage currently live in East Atlanta, Georgia.


Meet Our Master of Ceremonies,
Mr. Shelley Wynter

Mr. Shelley Wynter has been a member of W.C. Thomas Lodge #112 since 1999. He describes himself as a Traditionalist and Conservative who desperately wants America to return to a time when morals, values, education and marriage were honored and cherished. He is not a Republican or a Democrat and is listed as a “Swing Voter” in VoteBuilder.


He is a reformed sinner who goes to church on the big three days but knows all to well the power of prayer. Shelley is a member of The Georgia Black Republican Council. Shelley is happy to share that he is currently engaged to Attorney April McDonald.

Mr. Wynter loves talking to what he calls “The Smartest Radio Audience in Atlanta” on 95.5 FM WSB-Atlanta’s News and Talk, every weeknight from 7pm-10pm on The Shelley Wynter Show.


6:00 PM

7:00 PM

7:15 PM

7:45 PM

8:00 PM

8:15 PM

8:20 PM

8:30 PM

8:40 PM

8:45 PM

9:45 PM


Social Hour

Music Provided by TBD

Welcome – WM Raphael L. Holloway

WM Holloway Introduces Master of Ceremony, Bro. Shelley Wynter

Establishment of Protocol – Bro. Junior Warden Richard Harvey

Invocation – Bro. Chaplain Gerry White

Dinner - Served by Charles Easley Conference Center Catering Staff

MC Introduces Bro. Christopher Bass

W.C. Thomas Lodge #112 Commitment to Community and Education - Bro. Cristopher Bass

MC Introduces WM Raphael L. Holloway

Scholarship & Lodge Award Presentation - WM Raphael L. Holloway

MC Introduces Keynote Speaker


Keynote Speaker - Mr. James "Jay" Bailey


Fund the Mission – Master of Ceremony, Bro. Shelley Wynter

Closing Comments

Benediction – Bro. Gerry White

Music and Dancing “Stone Cold Groove” – DJ TBD


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