*On Monday, May 14, 2012, The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation hosted its 3rd annual gala at Cipriani Wall Street, New York City. The event marked the first time that the dynamic husband and wife team have merged their individual camps for the empowerment of boys and girls under one umbrella. The merger has made them a formidable force to be reckoned with.
“With our new singular mission of mentoring the youth of our community, we are continuing to take the necessary action to cultivate our youth in healthy, supportive and inspiring ways,” the couple said in a joint statement. The event was co-hosted by the multi-faceted entertainer along with his beautiful wife/philanthropist Marjorie, and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.
This year’s gala that was chaired Madeline Nelson, senior vice president of A&R, artist and label relations, Sony Music and co-chair Julius Erving III, owner CEO J Erving Group, senior vice president 6 Sports, raised over $700,000 to support The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men that mentors young men who are without fathers, and Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend that mentors young women who are without mothers.
The Harveys know how to throw a party – with a purpose – and the gala was chockfull of laughter, inspirational speeches and special performances by esteem comedian Bill Cosby, and an exceptional singing/piano playing performance from dynamo Rachelle Ferrell. Bishop Donald Hilliard Jr. of Cathedral International started the evening off on the good foot with a rousing invocation followed by a delicious dinner.
Each year, the Foundation places the spotlight on people who put kids first and inspire social change. “Tonight we will honor men and women who are positively impacting their communities in a number of ways. In their own right, each of our honorees is reaching out to inspire and develop the future leaders, husbands, wives and entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” stated Steve Harvey. “They are all reaching back to pull someone forward, which is why we want to especially honor each of them tonight with out “Helping Hand Award.”
The Harvey’s presented the venerated awards to Richard Petty and Kyle Petty, NASCAR icons and founders of Victory Junction; Debra L. Lee, chairman & CEO, BET Networks; Dr. Steve Perry, founder & principal, Capital Preparatory Magnet School; and film director, author & producer Spike Lee and his wife Attorney Tonya Lewis Lee, author, producer and proud mother.
The well-designed event attracted some 400 friends, family members and supporters including CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King, Terrence J, host of BET’s 106 & Park, actor Romany Malco, actress/model Selita Ebanks, Hollywood producer Will Packer (Think Like A Man), Constance C.R. White, Essence magazine editor-in-chief, Alex Askew, president of BCA Global, Voza Rivers, chairman, Harlem Arts Alliance, and Nick Young, The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men Dallas 2011, and India Hester, Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend 2011, who attended the event as guests of the Foundation and delivered inspirational remarks on behalf of their excellent empowerment programs.
The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation gala was sponsored by Screen Gems (title sponsor), Essence magazine (print sponsor), with additional support from The Coca-Cola Company, Neiman Marcus, Black Entertainment Television (BET), and Ford Motor Company.
Kudos to Patti Webster and her hard-working W&W Public Relations staff for a perfectly executed event that was produced by Leonard McGee with Eshena Roman, Amber Dowtin and Nicole Townsend.
The mission of The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation is to ensure that the needs of the whole child are met through the development of programs and supports of community-based organizations that foster excellence in the areas of health, education, and social well-being within urban and ethnically diverse communities.
For information about The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men, and Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend, or to make a donation, please visit www.SMHarvey Foundation.org. (Photos courtesy W&W-PR)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.