Herbert & Sylvia Woods Scholarship Fund Gala Honorees

Herbert & Sylvia Woods Scholarship Fund Gala Honorees are pictured with presenters and Woods family members (left to right) Dr. Joseph Feldman (presenter), Leon Eastmond (honoree), Sabrina Brice (honoree), Nan Puryear (executive director, Woods Scholarship), Princess Jenkins (honoree), Audrey Smaltz (honoree), Maurice Hines (special guest host), Sylvia B. Woods, Kenneth Woods and Tren’ness Woods-Black (Photo credit: Randolph Waterman)

*On Friday October 26, 2012, the Sylvia & Herbert Woods Scholarship fund celebrated its eleventh year in giving back to young scholars in the community in dire need of funds to attend college.  Themed “Individuals, Friends and Corporate: Sharing the Responsibility of Educating our Youth the event was held at NYC’s glorious religious institution, The Riverside Church.

Each year, The Sylvia & Herbert Woods give scholarships to young scholars in the Harlem and surrounding communities.  This year’s scholarship winners bring the total scholarships awarded to 83 young students who have received the Sylvia & Herbert Woods Scholarship to date.

On a personal note The Woods Family presented Nan Puryear, executive director, The Sylvia and Herbert Woods Fund, with a check for $20,000.00 in celebration of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary celebrated September 18, 2012.  Several generations of Team Woods attended the event and served as presenters – the likes of Kenneth Woods, Van Woods, Crizette Woods and Tren’ness Woods-Black.

The 2012 deserving scholarship winners are:  Monique Charles, attending DELHI University (SUNY); Brandon Carter, attending Georgia State University; Monique Edwards, attending Boston College; Jewell Fowler, attending University at Buffalo; Khadija Small, attending Bronx Community College; Devontae Gonzalez, attending Hudson Valley Community College; and John Ingardia, attending SUNY Cortland.

In addition, the Herbert Woods Community Service Award was presented Leon Eastmond, owner EASCO Boiler Corporation (A. L. Eastmond and Sons); Audrey Smaltz, founder & CEO Fashion Industry’s Ground Crew; and Sabrina Brice, branch manager, City National Bank–Harlem Branch.  Sylvia’s Entrepreneurial Award was presented to Princess Jenkins, owner, The Brownstone and The Brownstone @ Upper Lenox.

Maurice Hines, star of stage, screen and television and an original member of Hines Hines & Dad served as honorary guest host.  Some 260 invited guests enjoyed heavenly food, libations, a fantastic selection of items at the Silent Auction and music by Ron Grant & Friends.

This year’s gala boasted honorary committee chair angels: Dr. Joseph Feldman, chairman, Emergency Trauma Department Hackensack University Medical Center; Lew Zuchman, executive director, SCAN New York; and committee angel chairperson Nan Puryear.

This year’s sponsors included American Heart Association, City National Bank/Harlem, Columbia University, DIAGEO– Guinness USA, Inc, The Eastmond Family/EASCO boiler corporation, Exquisite Apparel, Hackensack University Medical Center, Manhattan’s Physician Group, Ro & Sandy Sorce and Sylvia’s Restaurant to name a few.  Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrates 85 years of the Rockettes in New York

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular show features New York at Christmas scene (Photo courtesy MSG Entertainment)

*On Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 11:00 a.m., The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes participated in a lighting ceremony at the Empire State Building lighting the iconic building in green, white and red in celebration of the Opening Night of the 2012 edition of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Rockettes performing in New York Coty.  Later that evening, hundreds of people attended the Opening Night performance of the 2012 Radio City Christmas Spectacular.  Since their inception, each of the Rockettes has achieved a lifelong dream of becoming part of this legendary New York dance company through hard work, determination, dedication & dreaming big.

The Opening Night ceremony honored The Garden of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity that works closely with all areas of The Madison Square Garden Company to make dreams come true for children facing obstacles, including children who have achieved their dreams through the Foundation’s unparalleled efforts.  The sparkling evening began with a private pre-show reception for children and families from the Garden of Dreams Foundation, celebrities, Rockettes and Santa Claus.  Following the reception, the Foundation honored a special child on the Great Stage at Radio City Music Hall for achieving his dream prior to the start of the show.  The evening was hosted by Jill Martin from MSG Network.

This year, fans will have the opportunity to take part in this celebratory year by sending their best wishes to the Rockettes at radiocitychristmas.com or through social media channels by incorporating the hashtag #85ROX to be part of the “Rockettes 85th Celebration Card.”

The 2012 production of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular — celebrating 85 years of the Rockettes in New York — is presented by MSG Entertainment (MSGE).  America’s #1 holiday show commemorates the past, present and future of the Rockettes in this unprecedented milestone year and features dynamic Rockettes’ choreography, dazzling costumes, beloved favorites and breathtaking special effects.

This year, a new scene added to the Christmas Spectacular in celebration of the Rockettes 85th year in New York, is a costume retrospective featuring the Rockettes most extraordinary costumes through the decades.  The 2012 edition of the Christmas Spectacular promises to create lasting memories for generations of families that have made this cherished production a holiday tradition.

“Each year I strive to move both the Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular forward by providing our audiences with fresh, contemporary and innovative content, while still maintaining the show’s rich heritage,” said Linda Haberman, director and choreographer of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. “The 2012 Christmas Spectacular is certainly our most dynamic show ever as this production will take the Rockettes signature precision dance technique to new levels by showcasing both the women’s glamour and athleticism.  The Rockettes have remained a timeless tradition and this year we are proud to honor the 85-year legacy of innovative choreography beloved by millions of fans across the nation.”

The Rockettes are such an important part of the fabric of New York commemorating a legacy spanning more than eight decades of unrivaled talent, rich history, precision and athleticism.  They have made appearances in some of the most prominent events in the entertainment landscape including award shows, national television appearances, sporting events such as the Superbowl Halftime Show as well as Presidential inaugurations.  The Rockettes are a legendary dance company and have been beloved by millions of fans since their inception.

Through state-of-the-art technology in this year’s Christmas Spectacular production, audiences will feel immersed in the warmth and magic of Christmas in a way that only Radio City can deliver as scenery extends beyond the stage transforming the interior of the Music Hall into a magical canvas. Audiences will be awe-inspired as numbers including “The Living Nativity” and “Santa’s Workshop” are enhanced by using digital projection coupled with the world’s largest flown indoor LED screen.

The Rockettes will take the Christmas Spectacular to new heights as they perform some of the most challenging and innovative choreography ever conceived while showcasing their signature precision dance style. In the 3DLive scene, which incorporates 3D elements interacting with live performance and has never been done before in a live theatrical setting, the Rockettes take audiences on a whimsical journey battling “humbugs,” gingerbread men, and an ice monster who have stolen all the Christmas toys.

Fan-favorite numbers including “New York at Christmas,” where the Rockettes board a real double-decker Gray Line bus taking audiences on a tour of Manhattan, and the high-energy tap-infused number, “Twelve Days of Christmas,” which will dazzle audiences as the Rockettes performance style continues to be both deceivingly complex and entirely glamorous.

Beloved numbers that have been performed since the show’s inception such as “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” continues to set the standard as the signature Rockettes number for precision performance, and “The Living Nativity” remains a vital part of the production.  The Rockettes will undoubtedly bring the audience to their feet with a Rockettes finale, “Let Christmas Shine,” honoring and celebrating the Rockettes as the stars of the show.  The Rockettes will sparkle from the stage as each of their costumes is crystallized with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals.

The entire look and feel of the Music Hall and the 2012 Radio City Christmas Spectacular will be both interactive and inspired in celebration of the past, present and future of the Rockettes in this unprecedented milestone year.  This year’s Christmas Spectacular honors the Rockettes and highlights the attributes that have made them so engaging for the past 85 years including their fashionable style, athleticism, independence and unparalleled talent.    

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is proud to be presented by Chase.  Chase’s commitment to the Christmas Spectacular supports this unparalleled production, which continues to entertain millions of families year after year.

 About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet (from base to antenna) above Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the “World’s Most Famous Office Building.” With new investments in infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world.  The skyscraper’s robust broadcasting technology supports all major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market.  The Empire State Building was named America’s favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects. The Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world’s most beloved attractions and is the region’s #1 tourist destination.  For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.esbnyc.com, www.facebook.com/ESBObservatory, or @ESBObservatory.

Ticket Information – Tickets on sale 

The 2012 Radio City Christmas Spectacular The Rockettes Celebration!  Performances began November 9, 2012 and run through December 30, 2012 at Radio City Music Hall. Prices range from $46 – $250. Tickets can be purchased online at www.RadioCityChristmas.com, Ticketmaster’s Christmas Hotline 1-866-858-0007 or Radio City’s Box Office (50th St. & Avenue of the Americas).  Box Office hours are Monday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  Ticket prices include a $5.00 per ticket facility charge. Tickets purchased via Ticketmaster are subject to service charges.  Please call 1-866-858-0007 for more information.

 About MSG Entertainment

MSG Entertainment is one of the country’s leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes.  MSG Entertainment also presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family shows and special events in the Company’s diverse collection of venues. These venues include Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre, the Chicago Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA.  More information is available at www.themadisonsquaregardencompany.com

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

audrey bernard

Audrey J. Bernard