10:18 PM / Saturday April 1, 2023

19 Aug 2016

PABJ Welcome back pool party

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August 19, 2016 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  Courtesy of PABJ


Area media enjoys ‘Hot fun in the Summertime!’


By Marsha Cooper Stroman

Engaging with others in 100-degree weather is nothing to journalists and media professionals; it’s part of the job description. The members of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) extend themselves far beyond the professional call to report, write and research news stories for local, national newspapers, trade journals, consumer press, radio and television broadcasts.  Grinding throughout the year, PABJ members ‘work hard’ delivering news from politics, sports, entertainment, human interests, religious, to educational topics.

That said, PABJ journalists also need fun time together to socialize ‘off the clock’! Elleanor Jean Hendley, longtime PABJ member and journalist, hosted PABJ’s Annual “Welcome Back” Pool Party at her lavish home. Black journalists and media professionals gathered on Saturday afternoon, August 13th, not for developing or reporting news, but to have ‘hot fun in the summertime.’ The event was co-sponsored by the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society.

Sarah J. Glover, President of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), is a PABJ member who started this tradition years ago with the late Philadelphia icon, E. Steven Collins. “I’m happy to see the PABJ Pool Party continue.  I started it years ago at the E. Steven Collins’ home, and it warms my heart that it continues today.  I know his spirit lives on in all of us, and when we gather for fellowship together, it means so much,’ Glover said.

Journalist Ernest Owens was this year’s chairperson, who worked closely with an excellent pool planning committee. “It was an ultimate success; we brought new members and seasoned professionals together to celebrate a year of great journalism and opportunity,” said Owens. 

Sounds of roaring laughter, music, splashing, an incredible aroma rising from the grill by Chef Alexandria-D’or Leggett, beach balls, bubbles, and umbrellas greeted guests upon arrival.

Germaine L. Edwards, PhD, educational journalist and public relations consultant, arrived looking more like an Essence Magazine model showcasing her slender body in a brown bathing suit. “I enjoyed the event, and you can tell it was a success because no one wanted to leave,” said Edwards.

Cherri Gregg, PABJ President, with husband, Kevin Mincey, Esq. close by, expressed appreciation.  “A special thank you to Elleanor Jean Hendley for hosting us at her home for the second year in a row.  Thank you to everyone who supported this year’s Pool Party with donations and your attendance,” said Gregg.

Mention was made of the late J. Whyatt (Jerry) Mondesire who passed last October, and E. Steven Collins who passed a few years ago.  PABJ will present the J. Whyatt Mondesire Scholarship Fund Award in October at the PABJ 2016 Awards Scholarship Gala.

Attendees included Mondesire’s fiancé and current publisher of the Philadelphia Sunday SUN, Catherine Hicks, dressed ‘pretty in pink’; Denise Clay, proofreader and writer for the Philadelphia Sunday SUN, and affectionately known as ‘the hardest working freelance journalist in Philly’; Chris Murray, sports writer for The Chris Murray Report and The Philadelphia Sunday SUN; Erinn Haines Whack, reporter for The Associated Press, as well as past NABJ VP of Print Media and her husband, Lee Whack, DNC Communications Director; Joi McFadden, VAST Productions; Monica Peters, President/PBPRS; Deirdre Childress-Hopkins, Strategic Communications Manager at the Pennsylvania Convention Center with her husband (who was DJ for the event); and former 6ABC WPVI-TV Reporter Denise James, currently the Director of Strategic Communications for the Philadelphia Police Department .

A “Simone Manuel – PABJ 2016 “Olympic style” swim competition took place with Lee Whack, Steph Humphrey, Jos Duncan, Velvet McNeil, and Dawn Angelique Roberts competing.  Medals are expected for winners next year.  Nia Ngina Meeks, Political Analyst at 6ABC WPVI-TV, enjoyed the event.

“Since PABJ members work so hard in the industry and in the community, it’s heartening and restorative to have this type of fellowship as we close out the year and prepare to do it all over again,” said Meeks.

Monica Robinson, of “My New,” was delighted the opportunity to network.  “I think it’s important because it helps us to bond, and we can talk and network,” said Robinson.

Oscar Gamble, journalist — whose father was Arnold Gamble, Jr., a cameraman at WPVI Channel 6, said: “I’d like to become a member of PABJ just from coming here today.”  Zachary James, CEO/Rebel Hill Consulting is Gamble’s brother. “I’m interested in finding out more about PABJ,” James added. 

Rod Hicks, Editor for The Associated Press, wife Velvet and daughter Zori, two, were highlights, in and out the pool.  Laura Elam, PABJ Photojournalist brought the house down dancing to “Watch Me Whip, Nae-Nae.”  PABJ member, David Lipscomb orchestrated carpooling.

“The Pool Party is a chance for members to socialize, get to know each other better. I felt that the food and music along with our first swim contest was fantastic.  I really would like to thank the hostess, Elleanor Jean Hendley, for opening her home,” said Lipscomb. 

“I’m a member — I enjoy hosting our organization,” said Hendley.

Kenny Ashe, P.R./Progress Plaza enjoyed himself.  “After the DNC we get a chance to unwind, we don’t have to be on the grind,” said Ashe.

Ken Scott, CEO, Beech Companies, looks for times when professionals get together.  “This is a great event; anytime we can all get together and hang out socially.  We’re all busy during the year, so this is a good time to just hang out, socialize and party at the pool,” said Scott.

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