Urban League of Broward County's Signature Red Gala Draws Large Crowd

October 2, 2013

Bonnie Strouse Sobrino
Donor Relations & Communications Manager

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         

Urban League of Broward County's Signature Red Gala Draws Large Crowd

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. (October 2, 2013) – The "Love Boat" themed event was overflowing with business leaders and community partners, dressed in nautical chic attire, who came out to support the Urban League of Broward County’s signature Red Gala on Saturday, September 21, 2013. This sold out “party with a purpose,” paid tribute to four prominent community leaders who, like the Urban League, are dedicated to improving the lives of families and children living in Broward County.

Among the evening’s award recipients was the Shirley Family, honoring the late Dr. Calvin Hylton Shirley and his daughters Dr. Carmen Shirley and Jasmin Shirley, who took home the 2013 Margaret Roach Humanitarian Award, presented by AutoNation, Inc., a longtime supporter of the Urban League. The Shirley family was acknowledged for their remarkable impact on the healthcare industry in Broward County. The 2013 Diversity Champion Award, presented by Tripp Scott, P.A., honored U.S. Congressman Alcee L. Hastings for his ongoing leadership and compassion in the areas of social justice, race relations and community service.

The final presentation of the evening was the “I AM EMPOWERED” award, presented by Macy’s, Inc., honoring Combat Veteran Raushanah Johnson. This honor, selected by Urban League’s social media fans, followers and friends, was created to recognize an individual who exemplifies hard work, determination and tenacity in spite of social and economic challenges.

“The Urban League remains steadfast in giving children a hand up not a hand out, and it is due to the tireless support of our partner corporations, individuals and community leaders, like the Shirley Family and U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings, that we are able to serve Broward County’s most critical resources — our children and families,” said Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County. “The award that touches my heart the most is the honor given to those who have chosen to turn their lives around through the ‘I AM EMPOWERED’ award."

Presented by this year’s title sponsor Sunshine Health, the night of nautical ambiance included a celebrity casino featuring NBA superstars James Jones and Keyon Dooling, a Duty Free auction, a flash mob and other dance performances, music by local favorite Love Child and a raffle for a Royal Caribbean roundtrip Mediterranean cruise for two. The menu of the evening featured exotic seafood and nautical inspired desserts. 

In June of 2013, the Board of the Community Foundation of Broward approved a $500,000 grant to the Urban League of Broward County to create a high-tech learning hub for minority populations. The Urban League was one of three, out of a pool of 26 applicants, selected as a recipient of the Community Foundation’s Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund. Donating $100,000, Bank of America was the first to contribute to the Urban League’s Mary Porter goal, which will match dollar for dollar up to the grant amount. Linda Carter, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Broward, and Lori Chevy, market president with Bank of America, were in attendance to show their support at the Red Gala.

This year’s gala highlighted the fourth pillar of the Urban League’s services: Health. Complementing this healthcare focus, the Urban League even solicited help from selected healthcare professionals, also known as Trailblazers, who demonstrated a commitment to making our community a better place and volunteered their time to making this year’s Red Gala a success. This year’s Trailblazers were: Michelle Binns, ARNP; Wilfred McKenzie, M.D.; and Khadra Osman, M.D. as well as Venessa Walker, D.C.

As part of this year’s celebration, the Urban League had garnered the support of the following sponsors: All Aboard Florida; American Express; AutoNation; Bank of America; Baptist Hospital South Florida; BB&T; Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.; BR Signs International, Inc.; Broward College; Broward Health; Browns Catering; Citicorp; City Furniture; Comcast; Coventry Health Care of Florida; Cox Media Group Miami; David iPhoto;  Delaware North Companies; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; D. Stephenson Construction, Inc.; Duty Free Americas, Inc.; EDCO Awards and Specialties; Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Inc.; Florida Memorial University; Florida Power & Light; Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance; Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau; Haliczer, Pettis, Schwamm, P.A.; Holy Cross Hospital; Jacq's Organics; JM Family Enterprises, Inc.; JP Morgan Chase & Company; Kaplan University; Macy's, Inc.; Marome Agency, LLC; MBS Consulting Services, Inc.; McKinley Financial Services, Inc.; National Christian Foundation; Nova Southeastern University; Show Technology, Inc.; Shutts & Bowen, P.A.; South Florida Times; Sun Sentinel; Sunshine Health; TD Bank; Toshiba Business Solutions; Tripp Scott, P.A.; United Parcel Service; Wells Fargo Bank; Westside Gazette; WSVN Channel 7; and Young Professionals Network.

“We’re proud to support the work of the Urban League. This has truly been a memorable event and with the 2015 National Urban League Conference around the corner, we’re excited for what is ahead in the future,” said Sunshine Health CEO and Urban League of Broward County Board Member Chris Paterson. Paterson served as this year’s Red Gala Chair along with Sunshine Health Board Chairman Nelson L. Adams, M.D.


About the Urban League of Broward County

The Urban League of Broward County is a not for profit, community based organization founded in 1975.  We empower communities and change lives.  Our mission is to assist African Americans and other disenfranchised groups in the achievement of social and economic equality.  Programs/services include affordable housing development and redevelopment, youth development, diversion, employment and training, education and community empowerment, and civic engagement.

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Urban League of Broward County

560 NW 27th Avenue             P: (954) 584-0777
Fort Lauderdale FL. 33311