The Upward Steps Outreach Girls Ministry held its Second Annual Father-Daughter Princess Ball last Saturday (April 13) at the Davis Community Center in Orange Mound.
Rosemary Austin, Tammy Adolphus and Desiree Thomas run an after-school program via the ministry, focusing on girls from the 4th grade through high school. Brandi Burson, a 10th grade student a White Station High School, was crowned queen.
At Crump Elementary School in southeast Memphis, renowned neurosurgeon, author and rising political factor Dr. Ben Carson rapidly is becoming a lifeline.
Carson was in Memphis Wednesday as part of the "Think Big, Dream L.I.G.H.T." Enlightenment Seminar held on the campus of the University of Memphis. He's never stepped foot inside of Crump, but now he has shaken hands with some of the school's Eagles.
That pressing of the flesh came at the Holiday Inn-University after a private luncheon and before a meet-and-greet mixer with U of M students prior to the public seminar at the Michael Rose Theater. The look on his face and on the faces of the students spoke to the instant connection.
Forty girls from throughout the Mid-South will receive a charge to remain abstinent from sexual and substance abuse behaviors during the inaugural Promise Ball Oath Ceremony & Ring Presentation at the Cook Convention Center on Sunday (April 21).
Pinky Promise International (PPI) is sponsoring the event, which begins at 5 p.m.
The participants – high school students in grades 9-12 – will make their pledges before a crowd expected to number about 900. Vivian Scott Chew, Intercontinental Music Executive, Founder and Principal of TimeZone International will be the keynote speaker. Chew is the wife of Ray Chew, musical director for "American Idol."
If the Africa in April Cultural Awareness Festival, Inc. were a person who had just turned 27, what would one who knew him or her well say?
"At 27, alive and well, 100 percent plus and moving on up," said Yvonne B. Acey, the festival's associate director.
"We are quite excited and quite grateful for those who started with us and helped us along the way and gave us encouragement."
Acey said people often ask her and her husband, Executive Director David L. Acey Sr., "Why Africa? Why April?"
Friends For Life will celebrate its 5th annual Dining Out For Life® in partnership with 39 of Memphis' finest restaurants on April 25.
Memphis is among 60 cities participating in this national effort, which raises more than $3 million annually for AIDS service organizations throughout the country and Canada. Food Network stars Ted Allen and Daisy Martinez, Project Runway All-Stars winner Mondo Guerra, and actress Pam Grier, are the national spokespeople for the event.
"I'm attracted to Dining Out for a few reasons. I like the group, and they do an enormous amount of good," sad Allen. "But the real reason is because the event is such a winner for everyone. The true heroes in the fight against HIV/AIDS are the activists and researchers, but we can't all do that."
It may have been stifling hot last Saturday (April 13) evening for grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and for fun and games, but Alexius Wilson didn't seem to mind. The 9-year-old gallivanted around the school grounds at Hanley Elementary and jumped in and out of inflatable bouncers, all while her mother, Veronica Black, kept a vigilant watch in the shade.
Black was one of several dozen parents who attended the family barbeque and registration drive hosted by Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit organization operating 34 high-performing, open-enrollment and neighborhood charter schools in California. Aspire was assigned the operations of Hanley in 2012 to begin managing the school in the fall of 2013.
"My baby wanted me to come up here to see what was going on. So I signed her up (for the 2013-14 school year)," said Black, 41, the mother of seven girls, including Alexius. "I want her to learn more about technology. She's a good student. She even shows me stuff that I don't know."
This year marks the 27th Anniversary of the Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival, which is scheduled for Wednesday through Sunday (April 17-21).
The festival, which unfolds downtown at Robert R. Church Park (Fourth Street at Beale Street), will showcase the Republic of Senegal from an international perspective using a various mediums – education, economics, culture, fashions, arts/crafts, music, history and cuisines.
A host of African dignitaries and other celebrities are scheduled to attend.