A fave media sistah, the Sun-Times’ Mary Mitchell, also a WVON-AM radio host, picks up a special community service media award on Thursday when the Chicago Defender Charities Inc. hosts its annual Bud Billiken Scholarship & Awards Gala at the DuSable Museum. Some 30 returning scholars and 18 new scholarship recipients will be recognized while other community service awards will go to folks “who have demonstrated excellence and commitment in their fields, who have merged their work with their calling and whose organizations have established a paradigm for excellence nationwide.” Other honorees: Chicago’s “first lady,” Maggie Daley, of After School Matters (Extraordinary Youth Program); Greg Brown and Regina McRay, of Southside Community Credit Union (Finance); Sgt. Major Peter T. Thomas, of Lincoln’s Challenge Academy (Extraordinary Youth Program); Mother Price, FCHN (Family Services), Adedayo Laoye, artist and bridge builder (Arts & Culture) and Ron Huberman, of Chicago Transit Authority (Corporate Citizen). Proceeds from the $250 per person benefit ticket will support Defender Charities’ programs. Call (773) 536-3710 or visit www.budbillikenparade.com.
The gala is held to lift up the importance of education by recognizing and celebrating the 2008 scholarship recipients in a festive evening attended by family and friends. This year, for the first time, students with majors in music, dance and other artistic disciplines will provide entertainment.
“We are so proud of our accomplishments,” said Colonel Eugene Scott (ret.), Defender Charities’ president. “In just five short years, we have increased the number of scholarships and tripled the number of sponsors who make the scholarships possible. That means that many more students can stay in school.” Chicago Defender Charities Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization founded April 1945. The purpose: to improve the quality of life for African Americans through a variety of educational and philanthropic programs. Anchored by the world-renowned Bud Billiken Day Parade and Picnic, one of the largest back-to-school parades and cultural celebrations in the nation, the Charities awards more than $300,000 in college scholarships annually to deserving African American students. It also gives food baskets to more than 2,000 of the city’s neediest families at Christmas and feeds five homeless shelters at Thanksgiving. The Charities makes direct contributions in excess of $50,000 to organizations serving inner-city youth.
Scholarship sponsors: ComEd, Frito-Lay, Columbia College, BlueCross/BlueShield, JP Morgan Chase, State Farm Insurance, U.S. Navy, Wal-Mart, University of Chicago, Washington Mutual, GM Chevrolet, ABCTV, Auto-trader.com, FedEx, PepsiCo, LaSalle Bank, Coca-Cola, American Family Insurance, Chicago Teachers Union, Nielsen Media, Fidelity Mortgage, BP America and Walgreen’s.
Goin’ Green–Chef Clifford Rome of Rome's Joy Catering Inc. and the Parkway Ballroom fame, who can easily boast of 15-plus years of providing memorable fine dining experiences, served up ohso delicious culinary delights for a Private Green Reception hosted by Ch. 7's Hosea Sanders for special pals during last week’s UNITY ‘08 convention. On the “green” menu: garden fresh greens with balsamic glazed pears and pine nuts, farmer’s market green beans tossed in garlic-infused olive oil with goat cheese, grilled farm-raised salmon kabobs with fresh herbs, free range Moroccan chicken and honey-glazed grilled pineapples. It was certainly yummy to the tummy!
Interim Prexey–Chicago State University has a new interim president for the 2008- 2009 academic year. Dr. Frank G. Pogue, appointed by CSU’s Board of Trustees, began his tenure on July 15, following a year of retirement as president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, a position he held for 11 years. Previously, he held various leadership positions in the State University of New York system, including a year as the interim president of SUNY-Cobleskill and 10 years as vice chancellor for student affairs and special programs for all 64 campuses. “Dr. Pogue is a respected academic leader who will provide strong guidance and transparent oversight for the university while we continue our search for a permanent president,” said Betsy Hill, CSU board chair. “Bringing in a seasoned professional on an interim basis will provide solid, experienced leadership while we take the time needed to find the right candidate to help lead CSU in the long-term toward a strong, vibrant and exciting future.”
Dr. Pogue earned his bachelor’s degree from Alabama State University, his master’s from Atlanta University and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was selected from the Registry for College and University Presidents, the nation’s premier interim presidential service, with contracts to more than 100 former college and university presidents from 41 states, all of whom have been selected for membership based on nominations and pre-screening evaluations.
Time to Celebrate!–Quinn Chapel AME Church, 2401 S.Wabash, celebrated its 161st anniversary, themed The Past Honors the Present. Rev. James Moody Sr., pastors this historic edifice that was one of the stops on the underground railroad. Rev. P. David Saunders, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Saginaw, Mich., was guest speaker. Guest vocalists were Milas Armour III and Clifford Smith. Hats off to the anniversary committee: Amelia Honesty, Regina Aikens, Carolyn Dodd, Ruth Dunham, Angela Moody, Donna Reeves and Sue Watson. Spotted in the sanctuary, Dr. Carrie Filer Davis, reminiscing about her 45-plus years of worship at Quinn Chapel, dating back to when Rev. Archibald Carey was the esteemed minister, with her daughters, Atty. Gina Davis (“the birthday girl”) and Dr. Helen Davis Gardner; grandson, Kossie Gardner III; NBC-5 Chicago's Art Norman; and Ebony’s Lynn Norment.
Texas-Bound–Dorothy West, president of Chicago’s Alpha Lambda Chapter of Eta Phi Beta Sorority, leads a delegation of 24 of her sorors to Houston, Aug. 3-8, for their 28th National Biennial Convention and 66th anniversary. National president, Jean Dade- Batchie, of Detroit, will preside over the parley, which is themed Eta Phi Beta Women: Sharing, Empowering and Fulfilling the Legacy. The sorority is comprised of business and professional women in chapters across the U.S. and the Virgin Islands. National publicity committee chair is Chicago’s own Betty J. Donald.
Magic Music–Cornelius Johnson (tenor), Katherine Pracht (mezzo-soprano) and Bill McMurray (baritone) along with members of the New Millennium Orchestra of Chicago are featured in the Chicago Dept. of Cultural Affairs’ 10th annual summer opera, Djamileh, on Sunday, 3:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; and Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Admission is free to this Midwest premiere of a one-act fairy tale from the composer of Carmen, George Bizet, but tickets are required.
A little-known gem, this delightful opera follows the devoted, beautiful Djamileh in her quest to win over the blas%uFFFD young nobleman Haroun. The sparkling mosaics of Preston Bradley Hall and its newly restored Tiffany stained glass dome serve as the backdrop to this tale of love in an Egyptian palace. An opening performance of music and percussion explores the sounds of the Turkish nobleman’s court, setting the scene for an evocative evening.
Tickets (only four per person, please!) must be obtained in person at Storefront Theater Box Office, 66 E. Randolph, noon – 6 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. Only a limited number will be available on the day of each performance. Call (312) 742-TIXS.
Sump’n Extra Online!–Besides the Wednesday weekly print version, be sure to check ChicagoDefender.com online every Monday and Friday for possible updates to “Teesee’s Town.”
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