The Bavarian Hall was filled with plenty of laughter Saturday night as a large crowd came out to honor Don Witherspoon.

The Central Blair Recreation & Park Commission chose the Blair County NAACP President for its respected citizen award.

At times, the event was more like a roast as speakers poked a little fun at Witherspoon.  Former NBA player Doug West was among those who joked about Witherspoon’s flair for fashion.  But then in a serious tone, West thanked Witherspoon for helping him become the man he is today.

Former Pittsburgh Steeler and NFL Hall of Famer Mel Blount was the guest speaker.  The youngest of 11 children, Blount spoke about his experience as a child in the segregated South.  He said the country still has a long way to go in improving race relations, but he was pleased to see the diverse crowd that came out to honor Witherspoon.

The NAACP president was humbled by the award.  Previous winners haved included: The Sheetz Family, former Bishop Guilfoyle coach Tom Irwin, Jr, and Miracle League President Joe Reed.

As a leader of the NAACP, Witherspoon has worked tirelessly to ensure racial justice and makes regular visit to the courts and prison.

Witherspoon was also recognized for his efforts as a member of the Booker T. Washington Revitalization Committee.

That group has renovated many parks in the area, giving children a safe play to hang out.

During the meeting, it was announced that the next project will be the renovation of Hamilton Park.   Located near Juniata Gap section of the city, the park has seen better days.