Steve and Marjorie Harvey hosted a myriad of sponsors, honorees and guests at their annual gala given by The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation. On Saturday, May 3, the Chicago Hilton & Towers accomodated attendees with a lavish spread. The Foundation's gala honored individuals that have paved the way for African Americans in corporate america, the entertainment industry, in sports, other not-for-profits, entrepreneurial endeavors and community activism.
Chicago is home to one of the honorees, Pastor Corey Brooks, who has dedicated his life and ministry to saving inner-city youth. Living atop an abandoned motel for 90 days, Pastor Brooks brought awareness to the pandemic of violence in his community. As a result, Tyler Perry heard of his passion and donated a large sum of money towards Brooks' vision. Pastor Brooks told of the many sacrifices him and his wife have made to start their church, New Beginnings, and how they had drained their savings and their children's college fund, before their children were of age to attend, to fund his ministry. It has been a long road for the Pastor and his family, but it has yet to end. With the generous donations and life sacrifices, there is still a need of at least 16 million dollars to complete the full project.
Pastor Corey Brooks among the honorees, which included Steve Pemberton (Walgreens), Clint Culpepper ("Think Like A Man Too") and Earvin "Magic" and Cookie Johnson (Entrepreneurs). Each honoree gave a profound acceptance speech reminiscing on their history and their personal life's mission. Musical guests were Chicago's Children Choir, Grammy nominated singer Kem and songtress L'Renee. Because of the generous sponsors, honorees and attendees, The Steve & Marjorie Harvey Foundation raised over $500,000 in support of their mentoring programs, "Steve Harvey Mentoring Program for Young Men" and "Girls Who Rule the World Mentoring Weekend".
True to himself, Steve Harvey expressed his passion as only he could. If you're looking for a sugar-coated watered-down version of Mr. Harvey, you were in the wrong place. What you see is what you get and that is what Steve Harvey gave. Mr. Harvey, with wife Marjorie by his side on the red carpet, spoke the following words about getting involved on the grassroots level in your communities:
"Let me say this, people gotta stop dumping the emphasis off on celebrities. Because celebrities can't be the foot soldiers. They're too busy. They ain't got the time. The real work is done by the ground soldiers who live in these communities. Look, we get the press because we're famous. I understand that. I get it. We can do some big event like this because we got some money. That's all it is. The real work happens by the people on the ground. And I don't want people to think that just because they don't have no money to throw an event like this that they can't be effective.
First of all just let me say this, if every man that was a father would just be a daddy we wouldn't have to do none of this. If every father would just be a doggone daddy we could stop all of this mess, but that ain't the case though. Is it? So now that it is not the case, those of us who are good men...who were raised by single parents reach back and grab these boys...grab these girls and tell one of them something. Because they want to hear something else. If you don't give them nothing else, they're just gonna listen to what they're hearing. Just giv'em something else and make a difference. If we all got involved, we can cure this thing, but we're all sittin' back waiting to see who got some money gon' come in here and throw some program."