The J.W. Darden Foundation Inc. held its eighth annual Black Tie Legacy Gala on Saturday night at Auburn-Opelika Marriott at Grand National. This year’s honoree was local physician Dr. William B. Whatley III.
Darden was Opelika’s first black physician. The foundation’s mission is to “preserve the legacy and heritage of Dr. and Mrs. J.W. Darden through an education, cultural and historical perspective.”
The gala and the J.W. Darden Wellness Center help to fulfill the mission.
When describing Whatley, Dr. Michael Williams, who founded the gala in 2013, called him “one of our lions in medicine.”
“I appreciate the J. W. Darden (Foundation) recognizing me. It’s a great honor,” Whatley said.
“I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I appreciate it greatly.”
The gala also generates funds to provide scholarships for post-graduate medical students.
This year’s scholarship recipients were Alana Jones, Jewels Knight, Ashley Murphy and Kevin Wortman II.