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*Pasadena – Thanksgiving weekend offered Pasadena, Altadena and San Gabriel Valley residents many reasons to be Thankful. People were Blessed for their health, roof over their heads, and clothes on their back and food on their table. The Blessing of family, friends as well as the fellowship of a unified community was also voiced on Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 29 also marked the 25th Anniversary of the Pasadena Journal, a local African-American newspaper serving the community with the “good news, that we can use” for the past 25 years.

The Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal News is the San Gabriel Valley’s only African-American newspaper. The Journal News is published weekly, on Thursday, and covers news and issues occurring, not only in the Pasadena, Altadena and the San Gabriel Valley, but also nationally. Accurate, timely, informative and entertaining.

This marvelous milestone called for a celebration. An enthusiastic diverse crowd gathered in the patio of Hopkins Village, on this beautiful Southern California afternoon, for entertainment by Brother Yusef and his brother Omar Hopkins (blues), Candace Lacey (gospel) and special entertainment and guest performances thanks to Roscoe Lee Owens and Jazz Zone Ensemble.

Hopkins Village: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Hopkins Village: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

The program got under way with greetings and welcome remarks from Joe and Ruthie M. Hopkins, Publisher/Editor in Chief, and Publisher/Managing Editor, respectively.

Ruthie M. Hopkins and Joe Hopkins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Ruthie M. Hopkins and Joe Hopkins: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Dr. Jamal Dominique Hopkins delivered the Opening Invocation. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard also voiced his appreciation of The Pasadena Journal, stating, “The Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley Journal News is a voice that need to be heard.” He also acknowledged the presence of Regina P. Moses, Retired Principal, Pasadena Unified School District.

Dr. Jamal Dominque Hopkins: Photo Creddit, Ricky Richardson

Dr. Jamal Dominque Hopkins: Photo Creddit, Ricky Richardson

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Rosie Milligan delivered an awesome, timely, thought provoking speech about the Independence of the Journal, it’s Freedom and how the newspaper is always “calling it out-telling the truth.”

Dr. Rosie Milligan: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Dr. Rosie Milligan: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Ife Sangode-Olaitan served as Mistress of Ceremony. Ms. Ife Sangode-Olaitan acknowledged and invited special guests present in the audience to the podium. Pasadena Vice-Mayor Jackie Robinson presented The Hopkins a Certificate of Appreciation. Pasadena Councilmember John Kennedy offered words of support and thanks. Also presented were Pasadena Fire Chief Calvin Wells, as well as representatives from Pasadena City College and Pasadena Unified School District. The audience was invited to the podium to express their appreciation and to share compliments and acknowledge how relevant The Pasadena Journal is to the community.

Ife Sangode-Olaitan: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Ife Sangode-Olaitan: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Ruthie M. Hopkins, Pasadena Vice-Mayor Jackie Robinson and Joe Hopkins; Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Ruthie M. Hopkins, Pasadena Vice-Mayor Jackie Robinson and Joe Hopkins; Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Pasadena Councilmember John Kennedy: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Pasadena Councilmember John Kennedy: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Candace Lacey, keyboards/vocals entertained the crowd with the tune “He Keeps During Great Things for Me.” This song could also have been subtitled “Joe and Ruthie M. Hopkin’s The Pasadena Journal, Keeps Doing Great Things for the Community.”

Candace Lacey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Candace Lacey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Chealsea Johnson, 2014 NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal Winning vocalist, was a special treat to the celebration. She sang “In a Mellow Tone” by Ella Fitzgerald, to the delight of an appreciative audience.

Chelsea Johnson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Chelsea Johnson: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Brother Yusef (guitar and vocals) and his brother Omar Hopkins (saxophone) entertained the crowd with some blues.

Omar Hopkins and Brother Yusef: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Omar Hopkins and Brother Yusef: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

This day also co-incided with Small Business Saturday, or as I would call it “Entrepreneur Spirit Saturday.” An eclectic array of vendors was on site to offer the public some unique, one of kind gifts. One could pick up some incredible, unique gifts for that special someone in your life, during “the Season of Giving.”

Roscoe Lee Owens Jazz Zone.net featured inspirational bracelets, caps, t-shirts and artwork. Aldonia Bailey’s booth Artistic Art Journey featured paintings, earrings, and necklaces. Barbara McAlpine booth Quilts and Things, featured Quilted and crocheted items.

Aldonia Bailey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Aldonia Bailey: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Sistie’s Booth featured a fine line of high fashion silver, gold jewelry, men’s and women’s leather watches, hats and scarves. Her motto “Shop by Phone, from the comfort of your home.”

Simply Sweets booth, Heather Slater, Owner/Baker contained some mouthwatering treats, gluten free cookies and brownies, vegan cookies and brownies, sugar free/low sugar cookies. West Love-African Clothing’s, jewelry, earrings, braces and scarves. Gwen’s Place-Dress Up Your Kitchen as the name implies.

Heather Slater and Peggy Freeman: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Heather Slater and Peggy Freeman: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Representatives from Pasadena City College, Pasadena Police Department and Vocational Nursing School were additional informational booths on site.

Several authors were present as well. Peggy Freeman with her book “10 Tips for Power Thinking.” Gerda Govine Ituarte “Oh, Where Is My Candle Hat.” (CD/booklet). JAH Light Publishing, Editing Poetry and Spoken Word (Miss Hazel, Angel-Ahhh and Johnny Phrase) featured several books, “Conversation With Love-Poetically Speaking” by Angela S. Clayton, “The Story of Christmas Tree Lane” and “Crossing The River Ohio” a memoir by Hazel Clayton Harrison.

Johnny Phrase,Angel-Ahhh and Miss Hazel: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Johnny Phrase,Angel-Ahhh and Miss Hazel: Photo Credit, Ricky Richardson

Joe and Ruthie M. Hopkins thanked everyone for coming out to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of The Pasadena Journal. Roscoe Lee Owens Jazz Zone Ensemble provided additional entertainment while the crowd mingled and browsed the various booths.

Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]