By Florence Anthony
It is not often that both joyous and sad occasions show you how blessed you are by God to have a wonderful life and friends. Last weekend, I experienced just that. Driving a Chevrolet Volt, I headed out to the Hamptons for Russell and Danny Simmons’ Art For Life Benefit at Russell’s home in East Hampton. I was the guest of General Motors for the weekend. We started out on Friday night having dinner at B. Smith in Sag Harbor where B and her husband, Dan Gatsby, graciously greeted us. The next night, Russell raised over $1 million dollars at his event, which was cohosted by his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons. She was there with her new husband, Djimon Hounsou. The fabulous Mary J. Blige was among the honorees. Jennifer Hudson performed, and other celebrities in the house included Taraji P. Henson, LaLa Anthony, Star Jones, the night’s MC Soledad O’Brien and so many more. It was a wonderful evening.
On Sunday, the Chevrolet Volt and I headed back to New York for a few hours, and, then, I headed down the road to Wilmington, Delaware for Butch Lewis’ funeral. I am so grateful to have seen all of my friends from so many years ago when I worked for Butch. Stevie Wonder added a moment of comic relief to the funeral. The Grammy winning musician wanted to play his harmonica for “The Lord’s Prayer,” so he asked the star-studded audience, which included Michael Spinks, Robert Johnson, Cathy Hughes, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier, Denzel Washington, Darryl “Chill” Mitchell and Thomas Hearns, if anyone could play the song on the keyboards. When he didn’t hear a response, Wonder asked: “Do I see any hands?” A young man named Stanley then joined the legend onstage. In fact, Stanley did such a good job that he accompanied Stevie on two more songs. After the funeral, a horse-driven white and gold glass carriage took Butch’s body to the cemetery and the Volt and me headed back down the road to the Big Apple. The Volt didn’t run out of electricity, but I sure did. After those whirlwind few days, I am very tired, but so happy to love and be loved.
Rumor has it that wedding bells may ring soon for Eddie Murphy and his actress girlfriend Maya Gilbert. The coosome twosome, who have been dating for a year, were spotted leaving Mastros steak house in Los Angeles last week. Maya starred in Showtime’s “Zane’s Sex Chronicles” for three years and most recently was in “Jumping The Broom.”
Grammy Award-winning artist Kelly Rowland will join Tim DeVito, vice-president and general manager for AT&T in New York and New Jersey, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and more than 200 youth to kick off the back to school season with a fun, physically challenging obstacle course on August 4 from 10:30 a.m.-noon in the North Plaza of Union Square in New York City. The event is part of Boys & Girls Clubs of America BE READY campaign, which is supported by AT&T that supports youth during the transitional period between middle and high school which typically sees higher rates of student drop out, course failure and behavioral problems.
Vocalist Stephanie Courtney is a teenager who wants to teach others with her music and messages. Along those lines, one problem plaguing large numbers of young people these days is that of bullying. Stephanie’s self-penned “Taken Over” will illustrate the “aloneness” that a teen who is being bullied feels.