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Celebration Times Four!–A quartet of our town’s most popular male social aggregations whose memberships rank – and some even overlap! – within Chicago’s most affluent, influential and prestigious “movers and shakers,&rd

Celebration Times Four!–A quartet of our town’s most popular male social aggregations whose memberships rank – and some even overlap! – within Chicago’s most affluent, influential and prestigious “movers and shakers,” hosted their yearly formal holiday celebrations mid-to-late December. And spotted among the prominent guests, a virtual “who’s who” equal in stature to that of their distinguished hosts.

The four groups, their individual leadership and celebration locations: The Chicago Assembly, Winston B. McGill Jr., Marcellus Stamps and Auggeretto Battiste, Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel’s Grand Ballroom; The Chicago Rat Pack, Mel Hopson, Judge Lewis Nixon, Robert J. Dale and Steve Hopson, Hyatt Regency Chicago hotel’s Crystal Ballroom; the Chicago Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Ned Dunbar, Frank Horton and Allen Smith, Merrillville’s Star Plaza; and The Saints, Atty. Ernesto Borges, Ed Wimp and Dr. Everett White, Holiday Inn/Chicago Mart Plaza.

(The Kappa’s sell-out shindig was a benefit concert headlined by none other than The Temptations and featuring vocalist Terisa Griffin and comic Jimmie “J.J.” Walker, followed by an afterparty.)

To attest to the four groups’ ongoing community involvement, at each event college scholarships and grants were presented to deserving African American youngsters! Now, okay, sisters, don’t come after me with a vengeance because I failed to mention your celebratory affairs in this column chronicling. You always get “ink” on your various fundraisers – year ‘round!

Here I’m talking about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the many chapters of The Links, The Metropolitan Cluster, The Carats, The Moles, The Carrousels, The Drifters, Top Ladies of Distinction, The DuSable Museum Women’s Board and so many more that I’m really gonna be in deep trouble because of my current memory lapse.

But because the Defender now only publishes once a week and not multiple issues as in past years, we’ve had to cut down on and limit our coverage. But do know that we consider all of your social and community events important and newsworthy! Space is just at a premium! You do understand that, don’t you?

Inaugural Fun!–State Senators Mattie Hunter, James Clayborne, Willie Delgado and Heather Steans (so far!) are hosting the Illinois Delegation Pre-Inaugural Celebration on Jan. 18, 6:30 p.m.-midnight, at the Washington, D.C. Marriott Wardman Park Hotel “in Celebration of the Election of President-Elect Barack Obama.” The evening will feature a live performance by Grammy Award-winning R&B legend, Chaka Khan, a grande buffet, libations (that’s liquid refreshments, you know!) and dancing music by Chicago’s own DJ Phantom. This “by-invitation only” non-transferable event under the management of D. Williams Public Relations Group is sponsored by Kraft, Astellas, American Illinois Unites, Hennessy, AT&T and GlascoSmithKline!

Milestones–Happy wedding anniversary wishes go out to Rev. and Mrs. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. (Jacqueline); Mr. and Mrs. Agis Bray Jr. (Irby Fields); Dr. and Mrs. Cuttie Bacon (Juliane); Dr. and Mrs. Herbert Harris (Rev. Dr. Mildred Clopton); Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Q. Winfield Sr. (Gwendolyn) and Bevin K. and Esther Ruth Potts, who celebrated #17 at Flavor. It’s the trendy new restaurant and music bar in suburban Flossmoor on Vollmer Rd., said to provide the best jazz in the south ‘burbs!

Happy b’day to a couple of fave friends, Ch. 7’s camera guy Ken Bedford and retired teachers’ union rep Mildred Porter; actors Cuba Gooding Jr., Teresa Graves, Tia Carrere, Ted Lange and Taye Diggs; singers George Benson, Grace Bumbry and Mary J. Blige; boxers George Foreman, Floyd Patterson and Joe Frazier; rapper Doug E. Doug; and the Defender’s LaCheryl Hubbard; Hip-Hop Inaugural–Millionaire mogul Russell Simmons and rapper-actor LL Cool J co-host the Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball on Jan. 19 in Washington, D.C. at the Harman Center for the Arts along with other A-list celebrities, such as Young Jeezy, Ginuwine, Mario, BET’s 106 & Park host Terrance J, DJ D-Nice and lots more. The host committee (in formation) includes T-Pain, Akon, Bryan-Michael Cox, Big Jon Platt, Fat Joe, MC Lyte, Devyne Stephens, Mario, Terrance J, Ginuwine and DJ Don Cannon.

It’s a black-tie fundraiser with proceeds from the $500, $1,000 and $2,500 tickets going to the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network to continue its non-profit work in helping to serve as a catalyst for education advocacy and other empowerment programs for young adults through the U.S. The event kicks off with a star-studded red carpet and celebrity sponsorship reception, followed by an awards presentation recognizing hip-hop artists who’ve helped generate the largest young voter turnout ever in American history. A V.I.P. party on all four levels of the venue will follow. Heineken is the presenting sponsor.

Newsy Names–Retired educators/administrators Frank and Eveline Horton hosted their annual New Years’ Day Open House in their Pill Hill residence with a more than ample supply of great food and great friends.

Same held true for Clark (he’s the banker) and Lucille Burrus who royally entertained friendfolks and kinfolks on Christmas Eve in their spacious home before heading south to enjoy the warm climes in their Florida digs.

A number of “names” were “in the pot” when eta’s Abena Joan Brown served up delicious Kwanzaa fare to an assortment of longtime friends and supporters who dropped by her South Shore home on New Year’s Eve.

And Ann and Jim Hinton and family were Kwanzaa hosts at the yearly gathering to celebrate their cultural and heritage with their grands.

TV Ready! –Shaunese L. Teamer, manager of community outreach and national publicity at WTTW/Ch. 11 and WFMT-FM/98.7, wants us all to “stay connected” as the nation completes its transition to an all-digital television system. With a month to go before the transition, WTTW will host “Get Your TV Ready: A WTTW Digital Transition Open House” on Jan. 17, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. This all-day, drop-in open house will help educate and provide information about this historic change in the way television signals will be transmitted.

WTTW personalities, broadcast engineers and staff will answer questions, provide a hands-on demonstration on how to hook up a converter box to a TV set and help troubleshoot technical difficulties. Attendees will also enjoy a tour of the station and learn more about WTTW’s multi-channel offerings. Reservations for this free event are required. An RSVP can be made at http://www.wttw.com/events or by calling (773) 509-5445. Ch. 11 is located at 5400 N. St. Louis Ave. “Please share this event with your friends and family and plan to join us,” Shaunese reminds us.

Snow Fun! –Think we may not have had enough snow to satisfy our appetites by the time Feb. 12 rolls around? Well, snow coming to our town during the second month of the year isn’t exactly news-breaking info! But the City of Chicago has much bigger plans for this delivery when it hosts the inaugural Snow Days in Chicago, a snow sculpting competition and festival, running Feb. 12-16 in the Spirit of Music Garden at Balbo Street and Michigan Avenue in Grant Park.

Professional snow sculptors will work in teams to create 15 unique sculptures crafted from man-made snow. Chicago public schools will participate with teams of students creating original works of art. Snow Days will feature numerous activities, including hourly demonstrations of snowboarding, dog sled-racing and weight-pulling with Siberian huskies.

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