‘I Tried’ Banquet honors Ben D. Johnson legacy, community members

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center hosted its inaugural “I Tried” Awards Banquet on Sept. 15 honoring the life and legacy of late Natchitoches businessman and civic leader, Ben D. Johnson Sr. and supporting the school named in his honor. Johnson was the owner of Winnfield Funeral Homes, Winnfield Insurance Company and other businesses in Natchitoches and around the state.

“What do you say about a man who was a man among men,” said Ed Ward Jr. “He believed in being on time and doing what’s right…He believed in giving back. He was a person who could look into the future and determine what he needed to do to make it better…He was a man of great faith and great courage. He made an indelible mark on the Natchitoches community and beyond…He left an indelible touch on so many lives.”

The banquet paid homage to community growth as well, which was one of Johnson’s daily concerns. Awards were given in three documented areas: Community Activism: Gwendolyn A. Hardison Davis
Outstanding Young Professional: Mario Fitzgerald Fox
I Tried Award: Ronnie James Williams Jr.