The affair was luxurious and included a live performances by R&B Singer Mario and Stacy Barthe, food, champagne and room filled with celebrities. But when Moneyetta Shaw took the stage, star of upcoming reality show “Atlanta Exes,” guests were reminded of the real reason they gathered at Piedmont Estate and Gardens - to acknowledge those who give back. The Heels of Greatness Awards was created by Shaw to honor 25 women who are contributing to the community by giving their time, spirit and generosity.
Many of the women in attendance have had long successful careers such as Dr. Bernice King, Shirley Strawberry, Egypt Sherrod, Kandi Burrus, Keisha Knight-Pulliam, Tameka Foster, Sarah Jakes and more. The ladies came together to honor each other and acknowledge the power of philanthropy in their lives and the difference it makes in the lives of others.
Egypt Sherrod, host of HGTV Property Virgins and founder Egypt Cares a non-profit that partners with other organizations like Toys for Tots to help children in need, says she decided to give back after reflecting on her life.
“I started sowing seeds about seven years ago, because I realized I have the great job was successful, had the money and family, but it wasn’t enough,” Sherrod says. “Giving back probably does more for me than it does for these them. To me it was about giving back and also leaving behind a legacy.”
Sherrod also spearheaded Sister’s Keeper Shut In, happening on March 28th from 7pm-2am, a night where women come together to openly discuss the issues that may be holding them back and to create an environment of love acceptance. Pulliam like Sherrod wants to empower women, by giving them a space where they can talk about the issues facing them. Pulliam says she founded Kamp Kizzy, because she wanted to pass along valued knowledge about womanhood to younger woman who desperately need it. She says being an example of integrity is essential to being a role model for young women.
"I started Kamp Kizzy to empower young women and help boost their self-esteem. I know how to teach a girl how to be a woman. I am there at the camp every day and you know what it never occurred to me not to be there,” Pulliam explains. “They call me ‘mama Keisha’ I check their instagram and if I see something crazy I get on them about it. I’ll say ‘Is that all you want to be known for.’”
All the women honored created their foundations for different reason. Many are say it was a void that needed to be filled or to simply do what is right, but in the case of Foster it is all those things and more. Foster's inspiration came from a great loss. In 2012, Raymond lost her son Kile in an accident, which prompted her to start Kile’s Run, a 5k walk benefiting Kile’s World Foundation on March 29th 7 am-noon. Foster says her son inspired her to focus on giving back to the community in ways that honor his creative spirit.
“I shut down all mu business and concentrating on the Foundation., My son was very artistic he painted he, he could draw and was great at graphic design, Raymond explains. “The proceeds from the walk mainly go to the camp. It’s a fine arts camp where kids can learn and practice fine arts, but my goal is to open a fine arts school that includes all disciplines”
At the end of the night guests took selfies, networked and encouraged each other, proving that giving back brings even the most successful people together.
To learn more about Kile's World 5k Walk or to register go here
To learn more about Sister’s Keeper shut in or register go Egyptcares.org