In an effort to raise money for research and support for the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, “Preakness at the Piazza” will be held Saturday, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Piazza at Schmidts at 1060 North Hancock St. The fundraiser is aimed toward Philadelphia young professionals.
The Northern Liberties location will entail a celebration of charity, fashion and sports. The Preakness Stakes will be shown on a 40-foot screen. Attendees are expected to be dressed in traditional race gear with big hats and bowties. FOX 29’s Mike Jerrick will host the event joined by Philly’s DJ Royale.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system and effects thousands of young adults each year.
The event is aimed to reach the young-adult community to provide facts on the disease. It will serve to combat the perceived notion that many young adults are often not as engaged or aware of the possibilities of having MS.
Geoff Gross, the planning chair, is excited to see this event come to fruition. He believes there’s still a disconnect with MS awareness and hopes events like this help increase awareness of the disease.
“It will be a fun outdoor event that raises money and awareness of MS. We’re hoping to have this event this year and build on it so it’s larger and larger,” he said. “We have a lot of sponsors on board.”
Named as their “Seabiscuit Sponsors,” Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Gunners Run sponsored $10,000 for the event. Medical Guardian, Connect America, Multi Flow Beverage Solutions, Tower Investments, Inc. and Griswold Home Care sponsored $5,000 as the “Smarty Jones Sponsor.”
The $2,500 “Funny Cide Sponser” included Tra Solutions Insurance Services, Villanova University and McFadden. With other financial support from various hotels, sites, public relation companies and law firms—the committee members and chairs look forward to a well-attended fun event for a good cause.
In its seventh year of the annual concert series, last Friday award-winning gospel music artists joined for the 2013 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour at Sharon Baptist Church, located at 3955 Conshohocken Ave.
With the mission to give back to the community by providing a free concert, the gospel tour succeeded in drawing a large and enthusiastic crowd.
The concert was hosted by seven-time Grammy-nominated gospel recording artist Vickie Winans and performances included, Smokie Norful, Tamela Mann, Lecrae and John P. Kee. Guests were welcomed by samplings from McDonald’s Smoothie Fusion Tour, followed by a reception, which led into the concert.
The McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour began May 9 and will continue through August 30. The tour will make stops through other cities Newark, Birmingham, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville and Dallas.
Owner of eight McDonald’s in Pennsylvania, Tanya Holliday continues to be pleased with the gospel tour and its positive impact on the community.
Holliday attended Morgan State University and while in college worked as a crew member in McDonald’s. Completing her degree in business administration, she worked her way up the ranks through the company until eventually holding 13 corporate positions.
Holliday eventually assumed the role of vice president and in 2005 she bought her first McDonald’s restaurant. It was a proud moment for Holliday, when she bought a McDonald’s in the neighborhood she grew up in.
As a proud owner of eight restaurants, Holliday delivered the key remarks during the evening events.
“It was inspirational for me to deliver key remarks as the first Black female owner of McDonalds in Philadelphia,” she said. “The audience was very appreciative—it was a phenomenal event.”
The community enjoyed an upbeat performance and artists like LeCrae Moore, known as LeCrae, is a Christian hip hop artist who is the president, co-founder and co-owner of the independent record label Reach Records. Holliday felt LeCrae and all of the gospel performers, “engaged all the way through” the night.
McDonald’s launched the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour as part of their 365Black platform. 365Black is McDonald’s platform for celebrating African American history and culture for 365 days a year.
Throughout the concert series, McDonald’s emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. Attendees are given information on the Ronald McDonald House Charities. A foundation aimed to support programs that work to improve children’s health.
Holliday is looking forward to the rest of the 2013 tour and what future concerts will hold in the years to come. She feels the concert in Philadelphia was a success.
“The audience really enjoyed every artist we brought to the stage, it was an excellent event,” she said.
As the search to find the best individual B-boy on the planet continues, Philly native “Knuckles” was named the winner of the Northeast Region competition.
The Red Bull BC (B-boy Competition) was held on April 25 at the The Rotunda located at 4041 Walnut St. in West Philadelphia.
Philadelphia was selected as one of the 50 qualification locations where the B-boy competitions are held in the country and around the globe—including locations in Algeria, Italy, Bolivia, Taiwan, the Netherlands, Russia, Egypt and Mexico.
As the winner of the top B-boys in the Northeast, Knuckles will move on to compete against the best B-boys in the country in the Red Bull BC One National Qualifier in Houston this summer on Aug. 17. The B-boy who earns the title in Houston will compete in the One World Finals hosted in Korea.
Kyle Allen, director of communications of I-G Creative, an entertainment marketing and online company, felt having this competition in the city does a lot for the community and for B-boying as a whole.
“Since its birth in the late ‘70s, B-boying has been announced dead several times, but it’s still alive and kicking, very much so, especially in Philadelphia,” he said.
With a lot of energy and excitement throughout the event, the Red Bull BC hosted in Philly, brought a lot of attention to B-boying and the 16 top B-boys in the northeast who came out to compete.
Starting in 2004 and originally organized as an “invitation-only” event, Red Bull BC has brought great opportunities for B-boys and now has opened its doors to a large audience and participants with opportunities for global recognition.
The recent Philadelphia competition was judged by “Ronnie” (Red Bull BC One All Star) “Domkey” (Red Bull BC One National Champion 2012) and “Float” (Incredible Breakers Boston/NY). Music was provided by DJ Skeme Richards and Crazy Legs.
Knuckles battled B-boy “Hannibal” before taking the win and the crowd and fans cheered as one of Philly’s own B-boys will be one step closer to becoming the best B-boy in the world.
With a room filled of around 200 people gathered to watch B-boys dance to make it to the top, Allen believes it’s an environment that encourages and displays diversity.
“The open-minded and accepting nature of B-boy culture extends far beyond musical taste,” he said. “When first witnessing a battle, one is struck by the complete diversity of the competitors—gender, age, ethnicity and skill level are irrelevant.”
As a way to officially kick off the release of his book, “Date Responsibly,” author Kevin Carr hosted a kick-back event, bringing men and woman in the city together to network, discuss dating and have a good time.
His “Date Responsibly” launch party was held recently at Room 12 located at 1200 Sansom St. With a crowd excited to network and mingle, Carr was happy with the turnout and “good vibes” spread throughout the evening.
The informal event hosted by Carr, was joined by other sponsors such as Miss Jessie’s, ForeverFit Inc. and Dinnerdate.com.
Carr talked to the group about what “Date Responsibly” was about and then led the group into a dating game. In the dating game, there were three bachelors and six women asking the bachelors specific questions about dating.
“They were asking them what types of things were important to them when dating,” Carr said. “Women were getting an idea of what the men were really like. We matched two and sent them on a date.”
The date was sponsored by Dinnerdate.com. Carr is looking forward to hearing how their date went.
Women received giveaways and gift bags form Miss Jessie’s and guests received opportunities for giveaways of personal training sessions sponsored by ForeverFit Inc., co-founded president Jordan Jackson in 2008. Guests enjoyed the opportunity to network and discuss different views concerning matters of the heart.
“People walked away with understanding what the book is really about,” Carr said. “They walked away with what ‘Date Responsibly’ really means.”
While men and women mixed and mingled to potentially find a date, meet other singles in the area, learn about “Date Responsibly,” or to network with other Philadelphians, Carr’s launch event was a success and he doesn’t plan to stop there.
Carr plans to host more events like this in the city and potentially host a sit-down brunch in the summer. His analysis in “Date Responsibly” covers an array of aspects of dating and one particular lesson he shares with women is to not leave dating someone new “up to chance.”
“Most of us figure out how we want to live our life at some point—but when it comes to dating, we just leave it up chance,” he said. “You don’t want to wake up two years from now and say ‘this guy isn’t who I thought he was.’ You should find that out in the beginning.”
New Central Baptist Church celebrated its 108th anniversary of praise, worship, love and existence on Sunday. While the rest of the city took part in Cinco de Mayo activities, New Central celebrated their special day by holding two services at 2139 Lombard St. With an 11:00 a.m. service and a 3:30 p.m. service, New Central maintained a good amount of love and high spirits throughout the day.
Founded in 1905 by the late Rev. Charles A. Blackwell, New Central has a long history in this city and is proud to maintain and uphold their principles and ideals today.
“This is my third year being pastor. My initial sermon was Easter Sunday in 2010,” said the Rev. James Reaves. “I am the sixth pastor in 108 years. The church’s theme is to revive, renew and restore… We have outreach in the community and we do things around Thanksgiving.”
Reaves enjoys immersing himself in the rich New Central culture. He found the 108th anniversary services to be meaningful and joyful as church families from other communities came to celebrate another year for New Central.
“We’re just trying to do marvelous things for the Lord. Our membership is growing and I have baptized 50 young people since I’ve been here,” he said. “We want to be a multicultural church and we want to let people know we are here.”
On Sunday, New Central hosted Citadel of Faith Christian Fellowship Church from Thomasville, NC. Their pastor, the Rev. George Jackson, preached and the two churches and communities joined together in praise and worship. At the 3:30 p.m. service, the Rev. Robert Paul, pastor of The Piney Grove Baptist Church in Philadelphia, delivered the sermon. Reaves felt it was having the visiting churches take part in the anniversary services, was a good experience for New Central.
“That’s how we share and grow, we help each other with encouragement,” he said. “That’s our job.”
New Central prides itself on its humble beginnings. Blackwell began the task of starting a new church in February of 1904. At his first meeting, just seven people were present, but this did not discourage him and the others who were determined to start a new church. Blackwell and his wife, Alberta, and a group of followers, held weekly prayer meetings in a barbershop at 21st and Market streets. They began with only seven cents in their treasury. Using his personal funds, Blackwell paid thirty dollars and rented a storefront at 21st and Market streets for worship. Over the course of ten years, Blackwell led his church to its current location at the corner of 23rd and Lombard streets.
With beginning with just seven cents and no stable location, New Central has taken their church to new heights throughout the years. Following Blackwell, was the Rev. Edward R. Lee, the Rev. Augustus Habershaw, the Rev. Leonard M. Howard, the Rev. Jacob C. Walker and now Reaves.
New Central gives back to the community and focuses on community outreach through various efforts. It has a new ministry that debuted on the 108th anniversary — a Youth Praise ministry. During the summer months, New Central takes services outside and “minister the curbside,” as Reaves describes it. They do this outdoor ministry every fourth Friday during the months of June, July, August and September.
They also have a Women’s Ministry, led by first lady Marcella Reaves. Shes enjoys the ministry and has a lot of plans for New Central and the community. One of her goals is to host a health event and more events that honor women and particularly, women in the church. She enjoyed the anniversary day and found it to be a very special occasion.
“Today for me, it felt wonderful. Both services were great,” she said. “Being the first lady, I’m so proud of the members here. They have really supported my husband and I. We just get love. They have embraced my husband and I and we have embraced them. I was so impressed with the effort they put it in for this event — everything they did was just wonderful. This morning was very emotional and the spirit was really high and [on Sunday afternoon] the spirit was high again.”
New Central has great pride in its legacy and humble beginnings. With choirs, visiting churches, congratulatory messages from City Council members, New Central had a joyous anniversary celebration. Sunday’s service that left many encouraged and inspired to continue following the church motto: “Revive, Renew and Restore!”