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BMOA White Party Mistress of Ceremonies Brenda Blackmon, RMHC Global Chair and McDonald’s Owner Operator Linda Dunham, Robert Lee Dunham True Visionary Award Winner Eric Johnson, and BMOA President and McDonald’s Owner Operator Brian Hairston

*One of the most elegant white parties held this summer was given by the “I’m Lovin’ It” members of the New York/New Jersey Black McDonald’s Operators Association (BMOA) on Thursday, July 18, 2013 at the luxurious Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY.   Brenda Blackmon, anchor and host for WWOR-TV in New York City served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

In his warm presidential message and on behalf of the New York/New Jersey BMOA members, BMOA President and McDonald’s Owner Operator Brian Hairston welcomed guests with great pleasure and thanked them for their continued support.  “Without you this evening would not be possible,” he said.

President Hairston also paid tribute to his fellow BMOA members and thanked them for giving him the opportunity to serve them in this leadership capacity.  “It is both an honor and a privilege to serve as president of the New York/New Jersey BMOA chapter.  We are a self-help organization, established for the purpose of working together with McDonald’s Corporation for the improvement and betterment of each and every African American Owner/Operator in the New York Metro Region.  For over thirty years, this organization has been led by successful and gifted men and women who gave unselfishly of their time and talents.  We continue today in their rich tradition and pay tribute to their legacy of leadership.  The New York/New Jersey BMOA is dedicated to giving back and empowering the communities where we do business.  McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc would say, ‘Be involved in the life and spirit of the community you serve.’”

The nineteenth annual scholarship fundraiser was themed “A Pearl Jubilee White Party” and paid tribute to BMOA owner operator Eric G. Johnson, president & CEO of Baldwin Richardson Foods Company, one of the largest African American-owned businesses in the food industry.  Headquartered in Frankfort, Illinois with manufacturing facilities located in Macedon, NY, the company employs more than 240 people with sales of $164 million.  Baldwin Richardson Foods Company is a major producer of products and ingredients for McDonald’s Corporation, Kellogg, General Mills, and Frito Lay – Quaker Oats.  The company also has retail brands and foodservice products that it distributes nationally.

Johnson was presented with the Robert Lee Dunham True Visionary Award by Dunham’s widow and RMHC Global Chair and McDonald’s Owner Operator Linda Dunham and BMOA President and McDonald’s Owner Operator Brian Hairston.

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NY/NJ BMOA Members with Robert Lee Dunham True Visionary Award winner Eric Johnson

The White Party featured a cocktail reception, silent auction, delectable dinner topped off with an uplifting performance by Cissy Houston who performed with the McDonald’s Gospel Choir and raised the roof off the mansion as only she could!

The lavish White Party kicked off with a lively reception in an enclosed garden that opened out into an Italian-inspired veranda featuring live jazz music by legendary pianist, composer & arranger Nat Adderley Jr. and his band.  The band also played soft jazz throughout dinner as BMOA guests enjoyed a scrumptious meal starting out with deconstructed Caesar wedge followed by their choice of an entrée Chicken Jardinière or Citrus Grilled Tilapia.  Mouthwatering Molten chocolate bread pudding was dessert.  Fine wines were served throughout the delicious dinner.

The dance craze “Wobble” was the dance of choice and guests danced all night long to the hot sounds spun by JJ the DJ.

The officers and members of NY/NJ BMOA whose slogan is “Empowering Minds, Building Leaders” are: Brian Hairston (president); Cortesia Norman (vice president); Alisa Harrison (secretary); Angela Adderley (treasurer); Annis Alston & Harry Staley; Ronald & Johnnie Bailey; Linda Dunham; Margaret Gillis & Jim Swanson; Dave Hatton, III; Cecil Joseph; Jacques & Iris Lawrence; Mary Long; Frank & Gloria Mason; Mitchell & Lois McGuire; Dawn Mussenden; Allen Norman; Herbert & Nellie Thomas; and Camille Tyson.

The stellar shindig raised funds for the Abyssinian Baptist Church Robert Lee Dunham Scholarship Fund and the RMHC African American Future Achievers Scholarship Fund.  Both organizations help deserving young people pursue their dreams by proving them with needed dollars to achieve a college education.

The White Party was produced and coordinated by Irving Street Rep in association with NY/NJ BMOA.  For more information about the NY/NJ Black McDonald’s Operators Association, please visit www.nymetrobmoa.com(Photos by Don Sherrill)

About BMOA
The NY/NJ Black McDonald’s Operators Association, Inc (BMOA) operates for the purpose of social, educational, and charitable activities to better the lives of children and their families in the New York and New Jersey communities.  BMOA participates in local communities to bring awareness to the many programs and support serves that McDonald’s and the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) performs in areas of health, education, the arts, civil and social services.  BMOA proudly supports the RMHC/ African American Future Achievers (AAFA) Scholarship program that targets African American or Black Caribbean heritage graduating high school students with their college education and culture achievements.  The BMOA RMHC/AAFA Scholarship program invests back into local communities helping African American Future Achievers graduating high school students meet the spiraling costs of a college education and fulfills the gap for exemplary African American Future Achievers graduating high school students who have limited access to a college education and career choices.  The BMOA RMHC/AAFA Scholarship program help to enable many students secure their place in the American Dream and live a productive life in our society

New York based award-winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard covers entertainment, fashion & beauty, film, lifestyles and travel for the Electronic Urban Report and other outlets.  Contact her via: [email protected].

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Audrey J. Bernard