Teesee`s Town: eta’s Benefit Gala cites five “who are making a difference”

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U.S. Cellular’s Gregory T. Hinton (“Greg”), a special pal, heads a list of five folks who will re ceive high honor and popular praise when eta Creative Arts Foundation stages its annual benefit gala on Sept. 6 at eta Square, 76th and Sou

U.S. Cellular’s Gregory T. Hinton (“Greg”), a special pal, heads a list of five folks who will receive high honor and popular praise when eta Creative Arts Foundation stages its annual benefit gala on Sept. 6 at eta Square, 76th and South Chicago. Hinton, who is committed to helping his community grow and has worked in the field of human resources for 28 years, is senior director of Talent & Diversity Strategies at U.S. Cellular. Hinton also founded the Chicago Association of Minority Recruiters. CAMR is a 300-member organization designed to meet the development needs of minority human resources professionals. The other honorees who are “making a difference in their communities” include Ch. 9’s retiring Merri Dee, author-actor Hill Harper, Chicago and Gary Crusader’s Dorothy Leavell and youthful motivational speaker Taylor Moore … all whose lives and work illustrate the theme, Channeling the Energy. Held annually the first Saturday after Labor Day, it features silent and live auctions, entertainment, a scrumptious soulful buffet catered by Fanfares by Faye (Watson), an open bar, dancing to live and record ed music and carriage rides. But the center piece of the evening is the awards presentation. General chairs are Lisa Maria James, financial planner at Merrill Lynch, and James W. Compton, retired Chicago Urban League CEO. Joining Runako Jahi, eta’s artistic director, as emcee is Lee Ann Trotter of NBC5; coordinating chairs are Gwendolyn Armour and Christine Houston. “This is going to be one glorious gala,” said Lisa Marie. “Each year we set our goals higher and higher, and this year is no exception. We plan to make this year’s benefit an overwhelming success.” ComEd returns as a major sponsor for the seventh year, says Abena Joan Brown, eta’s president and co-founder. Additional under writers: ShoreBank, Boeing, Management Planning Institute, Ill. Dept. of Public Health, Merrill Lynch, James Compton, UPS, State Farm, Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Once again NBC5 is the official media sponsor. Donation: $125. For tickets/info, call (773) 752- 3955 or visit www.etacreativearts.org.

Congrats–to Ariel Investments’ John W. Rogers Jr. (he’s the founder, chair and CEO, y’know!) on receiving a 2008 CEO Leadership Circle of Excel lence Award during the 26th Annual Chicago Minority Enter prise Development Week sponsored by the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. Among other awardees: John Sterling, president, Synch-Solutions, “Minority Technology Firm of the Year,” and Exelon Corp.’s Emmett Vaughn, for “Lifetime Achieve ment.” Themed The Power of Strategic Alliances in the Global Economy, MED Week offered minority firm owners a chance to net work and make real connections. With a goal of creating $100 million in contract opportunities, CMW attracted over 2,000 minority businesses, corporate professionals and government representatives.

Cover Story–In ESSENCE magazine’s September issue, award-winning political journalist, Gwen Ifill, talks with the entire Obama family about life during this historic campaign. In The Obamas: Portrait of an American Family, Barack and Michelle touch on key issues such as racism, HIV and saving America’s children.The Obamas were photographed exclusively for ESSENCE by Kwaku Alston on June 19 at their Chicago home, resulting in a most powerful collection of onetime-only family images. PS–Didn’t you just love Michelle and the kids Monday at the Democratic National Convention? Yeah!

Cartoonists of Color–A free program ac companying the ongoing exhibition, Chester Commodore, 1914- 2004: The Work and Life of a Pioneering Cartoonist of Color, is Sept. 6, 1:30 p.m., at Woodson Library, 95th and Halsted, featuring family, col leagues and friends of Commodore, as well as the author of a new book on Ormes. Chester Commodore and Jackie Ormes: Pioneering Cartoonists of Color can be viewed during regular library hours through Dec. 31. Speakers: Lorin Nails-Smoot%uFFFD, Commodore’s step-daughter and donor of the Chester Commodore Papers; Nancy Goldstein, author of Jackie Ormes: The First African American Woman Cartoonist; Charles A. Davis, former Chicago Defender editor; Bobby Sengstacke, photographer and former publisher of the Tri-State Defender; Greg Harris, syndicated cartoonist; and Joe Boyce, former writer for the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine.

Condolences–to Rev. Helen Carey, Christ Universal Temple’s executive minister, on the passing of her beloved son, hand some Julius Carey, 56. The dramatic actor appeared in a number of films, including The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (with Lawrence Fishburne) and the classic cult movie, The Last Dragon (he was Harlem’s “Sho Nuff”), and on TV in Murphy Brown, The Unit, A Different World, JAG and Perry Mason. Carey died of complications from pancreatic cancer. A memorial at Christ Universal Temple, 119th and Ashland, is set for Aug. 30 at 11 a.m.

Newsy NamesCommon, Erykah Badu, Frankie Beverly & Maze, Jesse Campbell, Day 26, MYA, Ryan Leslie, Emily King, Janelle Monae and other artists headline the three-day Chicago Soul Music Festival, Sept. 5-7, at Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph. Call (312) 746-5494. Happy b’day to the Defender’s Lou Ransom (executive editor), Worsom Robinson (photographer) and Adrienne Jones (marketing). And more August b’day wishes to several gal-pals who cele brate in tandem every year: Irby Fields Bray, Maude Lightfoot, Linnie Atterberry Sims, Rebecca Henderson, Janice Johnson, Jacqueline Craig and Johnny Nell Wilson. Get well cheer to the Defender’s Earl Calloway, who’s “under the weather.”

Ooops! Judge David Atkins takes the oath of office as the president of the Illinois Judicial Council on Sept. 3 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel. I gave the incorrect date in last week’s Teesee’s Town. (Sorry ‘bout that!) Those who wish to witness the swearing in can still call (312) 726-6072 for reservations!

On StageDream Chicago, a collection of short stories and songs produced by Steppenwolf Traffic’s Sylvia Ewing will be presented free Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., at Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion as part of Block buster Week. Featured: seven pieces by con temporary Chicago writers performed by Steppenwolf ensemble members. Tribune columnist Dawn Turner Trice is among the writers. Jazz singer Maggie Brown performs songs of her late dad, Oscar Brown Jr.

Family Focus–“Good Food Good Read ing Good Health = A Better You!” This year there were two free annual events at Illinois Institute of Technology: State Sen. Mattie Hunter’s fifth annual Health & Fitness Fair and Marrice Coverson and her Institute for Positive Living’s Off the Page Reading Festival 2008. Available: school physicals, eye exams, health screenings (diabetes, blood pressure), holistic health and AIDS info, Jazzercise and Women’s Workout World exercises. At the Open Book Literacy Village, young folk learned how to create their own books; took classes on writing poetry, lyrics and short stories; played reading games, HIV/AIDS Jeopardy; met famous writers; listened to storytellers. Author Troy Cle, creator of the Marvelous World book series that includes The Marvelous Effect, shared how he became a writer.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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