UTICA, N.Y. -- Community members gathered Wednesday to honor the late James Blackshear, the former director of the Cosmopolitan Center in Utica.
A luncheon was held at Danielle’s at Valley View for people who were impacted by Blackshear to come together in his memory.
Blackshear’s goddaughter, Janelle Winston, spoke about him at the event.
“He would want other people to pick up that baton and keep going. Look at the youth, look at the community and think ‘how can I help? How can I push us forward? How can I make sure the next generation has the same sort of positive influence that we have this generation?’” said Winston, who is an attorney for the NFL.
Blackshear passed away at the age of 50.
The annual luncheon is held by the Hope Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church and the Kiwanis Club of Utica.