The annual Winfield Awards Banquet will be held Sunday, June 2 at the InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd. beginning with a social at 4 pm followed by dinner at 5 pm. The awards recognize high school seniors of color for their accomplishments in academics, athletics and community involvement.
The female finalists who will be honored are: Amisa Jones, St. Agnes; Eva Langenbrunner, Central High School; Majeur Tucker and Lia Wallace, both from Highland Park High School; and Ntxhee Sua Vang, Humboldt Secondary School.
The male finalists are: Eric Lagos, St. Paul Academy; Doua Neng Lor and Gyru Tor, both from Harding High School; Rajiv Redd, Cretin-Derham Hall; and Seth Zeitchick, Highland Park High School.
Since 1977 — when Melvin Giles (St. Paul Central) and Misty Turner (Murray) were named the first male and female winners — a total of 10 boys and girls from eight schools within the St. Paul School system have been awarded scholarship money each year. Of the 10 finalists, two winners are chosen on the basis of excelling in the classroom, in sports, and in the community.
Many have gone on to college and prestigious careers in politics, education, science, medicine and professional athletics. The awards are named in honor of Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield.
After excelling in baseball and graduating from St. Paul Central in 1969, Winfield went on to an outstanding career in baseball and basketball at the University of Minnesota. He was the number-four pick in the 1973 Major League Baseball draft by the San Diego Padres. In addition to the Padres, he played for the New York Yankees, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, and Cleveland Indians during a 22-year career.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.