South Austin Coalition (SACCC) celebrated their 28 years of community service on Saturday, Nov. 11. The banquet dinner took place at the Regency Inn, 5318 W. Diversity. Master of Ceremonies was Rev. Gregory Livingston, pastor of Mandell United Methodist Church.

This year’s benefit honored the coalition’s founder Mr. Ed Bailey. Although Mr. Bailey was not feeling well enough to attend his spirit was very much present. You can be assured that Ms. Lillian Drummond, head of SACCC’s Senior Utility Advocate will keep everyone in line. Members such as Ms. Drummond and Teresa Welch cannot be replaced, they represent what strong community leadership is all about.

Ed Bailey founded South Austin Coalition Community Council in 1977. SACCC was an outgrowth of the old ‘Organization For A Better Austin’ (1965-1974). The organization began in the old Resurrection Church. During the early years it was hard for Mr. Bailey and his members to get the service and attention needed in the Austin community. Oftentimes troublemakers were sent in to meetings to report downtown what was going on. Bailey’s determination did not let these obstacles stop him. Often he was thrown out of meetings. And when the banks were challenged in the 1970s about redlining ” the practice of denying or increasing the cost of services to residents of certain areas ” Ed Bailey was one of their toughest foes. He and SACCC members like Bob Vondrasek did not mind sitting in or protesting on the behalf of Austin residents. These early years of protest has made SACCC one of the West Side’s most viable organizations.

Bailey is a unique gentleman, having served as a Sergeant during World War II. Although not on the front line (because of racism) he was at the Battle of the Bulge.

Bailey was born in Augusta, Ga., and is well known as a historian for the organization. Although his wife is deceased, Bailey enjoys the love of his children and family. But his great passion is fighting for SACCC, whose mission is to unite residents, organizations and institutions to work together to improve and develop the Austin community.

SACCC service area is South Austin, the area bounded by Lake Street on the north, Austin Blvd. on the west, Roosevelt Rd. on the south and Kenton on the east.

Board of Directors include: Ed Bailey, president; Juanita Rutues, vice-president; Ruthie Hooker, secretary/treasurer; Rev Elizabeth Bynum, seniors chair; Bennie Meeks, safety chair; George Lawson, housing chair; and civic representatives, McKinley Melton, Delbert Vann and Ethel Southward.

SACCC’s Staff are: Theresa Welch, Elce Redmond and Executive Director Bob Vondrasek; and Senior Advocates, Rev. Elizabeth Bynum, Dorothy Daniel, Jennie Caldwell, Juanita Rutues and Lillian Drummond.

Congratulations on 28 years of service to the Austin community.

 Note: After four years of German occupation, the Allies liberated Paris with the help of French resistance troops led by General Charles de Gaulle. On Dec. 16, 1944, The Battle of the Bulge begins as Hitler sends a quarter million troops across an 85-mile stretch of the Allied front, from southern Belgium into Luxembourg. German troops advanced about 50 miles into the Allied lines, creating a deadly “bulge” pushing into Allied defenses. The standoff ended on Jan. 25, 1945.