Dems honor Rison at Cicenia dinner
The Dorchester County Democratic Party filled the Holiday Inn Express banquet facilities Saturday night as they gathered for the 2012 Alice J. Cicenia Dinner.
Party Chair Richard Hayes served as master of ceremonies with help from Rob Groce and Richard Hayes.
The evening featured a live and silent auction, dinner by First impressions catering and then presentation of the Alice J. Cicenia Distinguished Service Award.
This year's recipient, David Rison, was praised as a faithful member of the party.
"David has been a delegate to the national conventions was an alternate delegate this year," Hayes said. "No matter what I've asked of him – whether it's something important or simply getting the wine for tonight's dinner -- he always comes through.”
Risen, who was a professor at Charleston Southern University for 38 years, has been a member of the County Democratic party since 1997.
The Keynote speaker for the evening was Rep. David J. Mack III who picked up part of Dorchester County in the recent redistricting.
Mack entertained the crowd with stories that served to make his point that Democrats are the champions of working people.
Among the issues Mack said were important to him and to the party are good education, entrepreneurial opportunities, health care, and decent living conditions.
Mack urged the audience to embrace the word liberal and not to run away from it.
"Liberals ended slavery, liberals gained women the right to vote -- Jesus Christ was a Liberal.”
Mack also addressed the Democrats’ reputation as the tax and spend party, but that if you look back at history you will find that Democrats have been more fiscally responsible.
Mack said he was on the record calling the tea party a racist organization.
"From the beginning they have had pictures of our president as Hitler, as a witch doctor, as a monkey."
Mack said our government has brought us such necessary improvements as the Ravenel Bridge that was built with a mix of federal dollars and loans.
"I’m saying that if you want small government move to Costa Rica."
Mack finished, saying that although the issues he had spoken about were important the most important was the need to stem the hatred.
"All this hate will destroy us from the inside."
Mack said the concept of the United States is of coming together and that's what makes us a great country.
The evening also included the presentation of a check to the party from Jackie Moorer of $2,130 the International Longshoreman's Association 1422. Hayes accepted the donation and presented a plaque to Moorer for the ILA for its generosity.
The evening concluded with Councilman Willie Davis honoring the late Dr. Bert Cicenia who passed way Sept. 5. Cicenia was the husband of Alice Cicenia in whose memory the dinner was held. Davis hailed Dr. Cicenia as a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party.