Christian coalition honors achievement in medicine at gala; other weekend events

Celebrated at the banquet were Wakulla natives Dr. Carol Broxton, RN Vanessa Allen Dickey, RN Stephanie Jackson-Sanders, Dr. NaQuita Jackson Nelson, and keynote speaker Dr. Krystal Franklin. Pharmacist Rita Louise Hughes was unable to attend.


The Wakulla County Christian’ Coalition’s annual Arthur Lee Andrews’ scholarship gala was packed on Saturday night at the community center, with an estimated 160 guests in attendance for the event to honor local women achievers working in medicine.

Dr. Krystal Franklin, a medical doctor and owner of a surgical center in Las Cruces, New Mexico, noted the rarity of black doctors and especially black surgeons.
She is the daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Eddie Franklin Sr. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania trained in Occupational Medicine and Interventional Pain Management. She completed her internship and residdency training in general surgery at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, and the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
Chandra Godwin, one of the hosts of the evening, recounted growing up with Dr. Franklin and said she grew up to be what she wanted to be.
Robert Manning of the Christian Coalition told a story of coaching Franklin in softball – the only game he was tossed from as a coach after Franklin slugged a ball deep and rounded third headed home even as he told her to stop. “She had power, she had an arm, but she was not fleet of foot,” Manning recounted to the laughter of the crowd. Franklin hurdled the catcher and was called out as a violation of the rules, which prompted Manning to argue the call with the umpire and get tossed.
Other honorees included:

  • Dr. Carol Broxton, a pharmacist, recalled growing up on Rehwinkel Road with family members nearby. “The blessing of growing up in Wakulla County, surrounded by love.”
  • Vanessa Allen Dickey is an RN with Enhabit Home Health and Hospice. She is from Sopchoppy.
  • Rita Louise Hughes, pharmacist, who was unable to attend.
  • NaQuita Jackson Nelson is an assistant professor at Florida A&M’s School of Nursing. She retired from the U.S. Air Force as Chief Nurse Executive after 22 years of service.
  • Stephanie Jackson-Sanders is an RN working as a travel nurse. She grew in Wakulla County, raised by her mother the late Rosa Jackson. She is a 1994 graduate of Wakulla High School.
Spectators braved the light rain on Saturday for the parade.
A view of the crowd at the gala at the community center.
Above and below: at Saturday’s parade.