The Killeen NAACP expects about 600 people to attend the 40th annual Freedom Fund Banquet at 7 p.m. Friday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, but there’s plenty of room for more.

The event is a fundraiser for NAACP community outreach efforts. Chairwoman Rosa Hereford said the banquet gets better each year.

“The (banquet) will be a wonderful evening for a community of friends,” she said. “People can look forward to coming out and getting dressed up with a wonderful meal and a great speaker.”

The theme for this year’s banquet is “NAACP: An Advocate for Everyone’s Civil Rights.” The guest speaker is Carlyle Walton, president and CEO of Metroplex Health System.

The evening’s highlight is the presentation of scholarships to Killeen and Copperas Cove school district students, said TaNeika Driver, local NAACP president.

“It’s our way of supporting our youth in the community and instilling in them that we are here to further their educational goals,” Driver said, adding that Fort Hood National Bank and the First National Bank Texas partnered with the NAACP to help fund the $1,000 scholarships.

The Yahweh Beauty Academy will present an $8,000 cosmetology scholarship.

Driver said an NAACP goal is to provide as many scholarships as possible to students in the community.

“You definitely want to ensure every child gets a scholarship, and that’s what we wish we could do.”

Banquet tickets are $30. For information or to purchase tickets, call Hereford at (254) 634-5192.

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