All Around Philly Social Scene
All Photos: Robert Mendelsohn
By Patricia Gilliam Clifford
The Philadelphia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. hosted its signature black-tie formal on Saturday, March 9, 2019 at the Vie Ballroom on North Broad Street. Part of “All Around Philly’s” North Broad Renaissance — Vie was the perfect venue for the evening’s theme, “Timeless Glamour.” The event was far beyond gorgeous gowns, fine dining, dancing and elegance.
“As the founding chapter of Jack and Jill of America, we are proud to continue a long tradition of supporting causes of vital interest to our communities,” chapter president Ily J. Houston said. “In so doing, along with our national organization, we help the Jack and Jill of America Foundation fulfill a vision to invest in the future of our children. I am excited about our partnership with our many sponsors. Funds raised will benefit The Jack and Jill Foundation, The West Philadelphia YMCA and The American Red Cross. We are also thrilled that our Eastern regional director, Mondi Kumbula-Fraser, has joined us for this very special evening.”
Heather Brandenberg Duggin, Iva Johnson Ferrell and Monique Napper Mooring were the dynamic team of 2019 Special Projects co-chairs.
“Many thanks to Chapter president Ily Houston for permitting us the opportunity to serve the chapter in this way and for both investing and entrusting us with the responsibility of shepherding this event,” they (tri-chairs) stated. “Thank you also to our wonderful Special Projects Committee and the mothers who unselfishly shared their time and talents. The Special Projects Committee worked without ceasing to ensure that this night would evoke the vision of “Timeless Glamour” and be a truly memorable and elegant experience.”
Members of the committee were: DaCarla Albright, Claire Burris, Dominique Casimir, Joy Chaffin, Faisha Cherry, Caroline DeMarco, Meredith Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Hairston-Alleyne, Loren Clifford Hamilton, Mayla Henderson Jackson, Erica Houston, Christa Irvine, Imana Legette, Sakina Parks, Rhashidah Perry-Jones, Valerie Robinson, Kimberly Douthit Rush, Natalie Valentine-Adams, Joanne Wells and Tiffany Wilson.
The Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Founding Philadelphia Chapter’s 2018-2020 executive board members serving with President Houston are: MiaIsha Brown, vice president; Sakina A. Parks, program director; Michelle Palmer-Waldron, recording secretary; Heather Brandenberg Duggin, corresponding secretary; Tiffany Wilson, assistant secretary; Lisa L. Corbin, treasurer, and Meredith Fitzpatrick, financial secretary. Other executive board members are: Stephanie Ewing, Kimberly Coleman Clotman, Kelley Hodge, Natalie Valentine-Adams, Monique Mooring, (immediate past president) Kimya S. P. Johnson, Elena Benjamin Lester, Sharon Losier, Derrick Drew Dow II, Rose Richardson, and Alexander G. Houston.
I spoke with recipients of the gala’s commendable fundraising initiative.
“Jack and Jill of America, Philadelphia Chapter selected the Y to receive proceeds from the “Timeless Glamour” gala because of our commitment to providing water safety education, swim lessons, and lifeguard training to the community,” West Philadelphia YMCA executive director Ronna Kassel said. “According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over 3,500 people drown in pools each year;1 in 5 are under age 14; and Black children are five times more likely to drown than White children. The Y has a responsibility to the community to help change those statistics.”
If you are interested in the YMCA offering a water safety education workshop to your group, please reach out to Ronna Kassel at [email protected]
“The American Red Cross is pleased to be a recipient of the proceeds from this weekend’s event for the Philadelphia Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc.,” Dave Skutnik, regional director of communications for The American Red Cross Eastern PA said. “This critical funding allows the Red Cross to continue to provide water safety courses to children in our area. The partnership between the Red Cross and Jack and Jill of America has allowed Philadelphia’s Camp Save-a-Life, a free Red Cross summer camp for youth ages 10-14, to teach kids how to be safe in and around the water. The American Red Cross also provides training and certification for water safety instructors at local pools, including the YMCA.”
For more information on Camp Save-a-Life, visit: https://www.redcross.org/local/pennsylvania/eastern-pennsylvania/about-us/our-work/camp-save-a-life.html
Other members of the chapter not previously mentioned are: Yolanda Banks, Kim Beauvais, Stephanie Branche Carter, Leslie Burrell, Dawn, Marie Callaway, , Deborah Cooper-Nixon, Celeste Dow, Karen Dunlop, Jeanine Dunmore, Laura Forrest, Kymberly Truman Graves, Terri Hamer, Tyra Holland, Tania Isaac Hyman, Janelle Ketchum, Tamara King, Wanda King Washington and Imana Lagette.
Jack and Jill of America, Inc., is a membership organization of mothers with children ages 2 – 19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty. Jack and Jill boast more than 230 chapters nationwide, representing more than 40,000 family members.
Congratulations to this stellar organization who gave our city another proud time to be “All Around Philly.”