Cheers West Edition


David Buggs, the senior pastor of Central Baptist Church, celebrated his 90th birthday with his congregation during morning services March 29.

In 1975, the full-time pastor started Central Baptist while also working as a nuclear weapons specialist at the Naval Weapons Station until he retired. Currently, Buggs also volunteers for the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Department.

The father of five has been married for 64 years. 

LaDawn Best, program director at Peer Health Exchange in Los Angeles, recently joined the board of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach.

Prior to Peer Health Exchange, Best worked for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and REACH L.A. Her work experience includes working with youth of color, public policy and program development.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Vallerie Wagner has received an Advocate Award during the first Truth Awards ceremony hosted by Better Brothers L.A. and

LaDawn Best
LaDawn Best
Vallerie Wagner
Vallerie Wagner

at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre March 28.

Wagner, chief operating officer of AIDS Project Los Angles Health and Wellness, received the recognition because of her efforts to establish HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives and resources to communities of color, according to officials.

The ceremony also recognized the accomplishments of openly gay and lesbian African Americans.

Compiled by Shawnte Passmore.

Cheers! features the everyday accomplishments of everyday people in South Los Angeles. To submit an item, send an email (with picture) to