ABOVE PHOTO: From left; Award recipient Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, Kenneth Gamble, Former Councilwoman Marian Tasco and Faatimah Gamble. Turner was given a Community Service Award. (Photo: Robert Mendelsohn)
ALL AROUND PHILLY: Social Scene
By Patricia Gilliam Clifford
It was an amazing evening as music icon Kenneth Gamble and his lovely wife Faatimah presented their Fifth annual “Evening of Style and Grace-School Days Edition.” The Gambles, founders of Universal Companies, celebrated 25 years of service to the community. The fundraising event took place at Universal Audenreid Charter High School in South Philadelphia on December 7th. Proceeds from the spectacular fashion show benefit Universal programs including “Pearls of Wisdom,” “From Boys to Men,” and the Universal Audenried Charter High School Culinary Arts Academy, where youth are provided with cultural and entrepreneurial opportunities to help them develop their full potential.
The evening began with a reception featuring a variety of delectable dishes prepared by students of the Universal Audenreid Charter School Culinary Arts Academy (“Rocket Catering”). The talented dancers from Universal Audenreid provided wonderful entertainment. I spotted Gary Shepherd of 3rd Floor Media joining the troupe during an impressive line dance.
The Gambles honored two outstanding Philadelphians during the event. Sharmaine Matlock- Turner, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, received the 2017 Universal Community Service Award, which was presented by retired Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marion B. Tasco and Robert L. Archie, Partner at Duane Morris LLP and former chair of the School Reform Commission, was presented the 2017 Universal Community Service Award, by Robert W. Bogle, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Tribune newspaper.
“I personally thank Bob and Charmaine for their generous support of my wife’s programs over the years. Their generosity is immeasurable,” remarked Kenneth Gamble.
Amirah Munson — a senior at Preparatory Charter School and participant in the Pearls of Wisdom program — and Christopher I. Roberts, a 16-year-old, straight A student at Mathematics Civics & Science Charter School were terrific as mistress and master of ceremonies.
Fox29 Good Day co-anchors, Alex Holley and Mike Jerrick emceed, modeled and prepared the audience for an exciting fashion show with head turning styles by Frank Agostiono, Les Richard Menswear and bowties by Malcolm Jenkins of The Philadelphia Eagles. There were also fabulous designs by Drexel University Antoinette Wesphal College of Media Arts &Design.
The awesome celebrity models who lit up the runway included Philadelphia City Councilman At-Large, Derek S. Green; 6 ABC news anchor, Sharrie Williams; NBC10 news anchor/reporter, Rosemary Connors; Philadelphia Tribune Magazine Editor, Shonda McClain; ODUNDE CEO Bumi Fernandez; NBC 10 investigative reporter, Harry Hairston and the multitalented Kharisma Mcllwaine, as well as professional models.
Some of the supporters spotted “Around Town in Philly” included WDAS-FM radio alumni and current personalities Gary Shepherd, Mimi Brown, former State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop, Patty Jackson and Derrick Corbett. Others seen enjoying the event included Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Niki Hawkins of 6ABC; Gloria Hawkins, Anna Bostic, William Hegamin, Ameen Ali, Bernard and Jacquelyn Smalley, Loraine Brown Long and Maria and Rudy Battle and Nolan Atkinson, Esq.
The following companies are commended for underwriting “An Evening of Style and Grace- School Daze Edition” Edition Fashion Show fundraiser: PECO, Parx Casino, AmeriHealth Caritas, Comcast, Duane Morris LLP, Greater Philadelphia Health Action, Inc., IBEW Local Union 98, Independence Blue Cross, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.
Congratulations and thank you to Faatimah and Kenneth Gamble and congratulations to the honorees, students, supporters and all involved in this phenomenal event!
For more information about Universal Companies, Pearls of Wisdom and Boys to Men Programs, please visit the official website: www.universalcompanies.org, like them on facebook.com/universalphiladelphia, follow on twitter.com/universalphila or on Instagram.com/universalphiladelphia.