W.H. Gray Community Service Award Recipients
We appreciate all you do for our youth and the community!
Ret. U.S. Navy
In 1974, French D. Pope, Sr. retired as a U.S. Navy Chief Yeoman. He retired U.S. Customs Service in 1993 as Senor U.S. Customs Inspector, holding the record for largest drug bust ever in the port of Norfolk, Virginia.
His love for youth and sports led him to organize several athletic programs. He organized an athletic program for military dependents living in base housing while stationed in San Francisco, CA in 1968, and in Norfolk, Virginia two years later in 1978. French served as the athletic director/basketball coach for Azalea Athletic Association from 1972 -1982. From 1982 to 1992, he implemented an athletic program for youth in the East Oceanview area of Norfolk, Va. PACE runs the program now continuing what French started. French established a youth athletic program in Norfolks Camellia acres and surrounding communities, where he still participates today. His programs included basketball, girl’s softball, football, flag football, and cheerleaders. In 1976, he started the Little League Umpire Association where he also served as an umpire. Now, he serves in the capacity as Honorary Commissioner and Senior Advisor.
French is involved in the church community where he sings in the senior choir and male chorus. He has served as the youth coordinator from 1972 until 1980. He Organized youth basketball and men/women softball teams. French helped establish by-laws for the Greater Tidewaters Churches Softball League which still exists today. He also served on the committee for Church/Community Involvement.
French is married and has four adult children.
Anthony Knight is the owner of ARK Insurance Agency, successfully running his Agency selling Allstate Insurance products for over 30 years.
He is a graduate of Norfolk State University with a B.A. degree in Music Education. While at Norfolk State University Anthony pledged Omega Psi Phi Fraternity and is celebrating 50 years as an Omega Man. Since joining the fraternity Brother Knight has received numerous awards and served in numerous positions. He has received the Basileus of the year award, Omega Man of the year award on several occasions on both the chapter and District levels. During the Fraternity’s 100-year celebration he served as the 26th Third District Representative, which covers the state of Virginia and Washington D.C. During his tenure he expanded the District’s male youth academy to over 500 members, he increased the size of the District from less than 1,600 to over 2,000 financial members and chartered a new undergrad chapter at William and Mary and a New Graduate chapter in Loudoun County, VA. He also served on the centennial planning committee while sitting on the Fraternity’s highest governing body, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Supreme Council.
Anthony has been the owner of an Allstate Agency for over 30 years with offices in Virginia Beach, VA and Chesapeake, VA. ARK Insurance Agency has proudly served the community assisting several thousand families with the protections they needed to allow them to continue their accustomed life styles after loved ones have passed. His agency is dedicated to serving the insurance needs of Its customers by providing the complete Allstate product line and would like to be regarded as an agency that is honest, compassionate and one that conducts its business with the highest level of integrity. As an Allstate Agency owner he has won several awards and recognitions which have taken him to such places as Paris, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and several state side destinations such as San Francisco, Orlando, Phoenix, Las Vegas and New York to name a few.
He served as president of the Virginia Beach Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He was awarded the Life Underwriter of the year award for faithful service and dedication in advancing the profession of Life Underwriters. He also served as moderator for several LUTC education courses teaching other agents and agency owners skills needed to successfully run their businesses.
Anthony joined Second Calvary in 2012. Since joining he has been actively involved in many ministries; The 900 Men Strong Ministry, the Pastoral Care Ministry, Chairman of the Shirley R. Carr Scholarship Foundation, Chairman of the W.H. Gray Men’s Ministry and faithfully attends the Tommie J. Tookes Bible Study Ministry which meets Sunday evenings at 5 PM. He participates in the annual Homeless Project and is a sponsor for the annual Norfolk Jail Ministry dinner. He has also been a sponsor for the 900 Men Strong Breakfast since its exception and for the first five years was one of the major sponsors.
Anthony is married to Sister Phyllis Knight, they have two daughters, one son and six grandchildren.
Ark Agency Insurance, Owner
Coach and Youth Mentor
Mr. Stan Holloway, a native of Atlanta, Georgia is an alumni of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps unit of Morehouse College where he earned a political science degree. Stan served 20 years in the US Navy as a commissioned officer primarily guiding and leading reserve personnel. During his tenure as a naval officer, he organized shipboard operations and activities; supervised department heads; and briefed readiness and training reports to fleet commanders and senior executive personnel.
Stan initially started coaching to provide athletic support to his sons but eventually realized that coaching was his calling. In 2008, Stan founded Track 7-5-7, a nonprofit AAU Track Club that teaches the fundamentals of sprints, hurdles, and jumps to youth ages 5-18 in the Hampton Roads area. The program has over 100 members and has produced 62 All-Americans, 33 National Champions, and numerous State Champions. Its branches have extended across the nation with over 30 student-athletes receiving athletic scholarships totaling over $250,000 to colleges and universities. He has also coached Pop Warner football with his team advancing to the Championship games for three years making it to the last round twice. In 2012, Coach Holloway accepted a position as the Assistant Girls Track Coach at Oscar Smith High School. Since taking on the position, the OSHS girls have competed in numerous State, Regional and National meets in which they have ranked very high.
He is a husband, father, coach, mentor and great role model in the lives of all the athletes he’s touched. He visits his athletes when they’re ill, tutors them when their grades are not up to par, and helps financially when parents are not able. Stan resides in the City of Chesapeake with his wife LaTasha. His sons Tre and Grant are both Track and Field standouts.
College Student Honoree
Norfolk State University
Maleik Watkins has served as a volunteer for the Union Mission Ministries for over two (2) years, supporting individuals seeking assistance with food and clothing. He also serves as a volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Tidewater, offering support to vendors and patrons during the Walk for the Cure Program and Bridal Showcase. His passion for volunteering at Susan G. Komen runs deep. The loss of his grandmother to cervical cancer and an aunt who is a breast cancer survivor for a little over six (6) years, inspired him to give back to this cause!
Maleik not only believes in giving back, but he also believes in reaching back. In high school, he found himself surrounded by students that lost hope - hope in following and pursuing their dreams; however, he never lost sight of his dreams and decided that college would be an ideal path for him to obtain them. As a student at Norfolk State University (NSU), Maleik felt that more needed to be done. He is now a rising junior and continues to support students in realizing their dreams. In 2019, Maleik started "Tomorrow's Leaders Today," a mentorship program with two (2) other friends at Booker T. Washington High School in Norfolk, Virginia. The program is designed to support males with graduation, goal setting, and professional development skills.
Moreover, Maleik is very active on the campus of Norfolk State University. He serves as the President of the Student Activities Board, Vice President of the NSU Chapter of the Young Democrats, an Event Coordinator with the Residence Hall Association (RHA), the Treasurer of the NSU Student Ambassadors, an Associate Justice with the Student Government Association (SGA), and a member of the New Student Organization Committee. His work is endless; he works as the lead peer advisor for the Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith Student Success Center, where he helps to coordinate and match tutors and mentors with students. Additionally, he serves as a member of the NSU University Assessment Advisory Committee.
Recently, he received the honor of being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar. Forbes selects 1,000 students in the world who apply to attend this conference. Students were provided access to the summit, which includes a private music festival, A-list speakers, investor speed-pitching, industry-focused field trips, a legendary pub crawl, a world-famous food festival, and a powerful day of community service. Overall, the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit provides students with the opportunity to experience networking, innovation, and professional development.
As a tribute to his outstanding efforts towards student success at NSU, he received the NSU Future Forward Student Award from NSUMade, an alumni organization in November 2019
A dedicated and committed advocate for others and former recipient of the 900 Men Strong Scholarship, Maleik would be an ideal candidate for the 900 Men Strong Community Service Awards.