Harlem notables converged on Harlem Stage/Aaron Davis Hall on Thursday for the 12th annual “Continuing the Journal Gala Reception” benefitting WEST HARLEM GROUP ASSISTANCE, INC. (WHGA), an innovative non-profit working to develop and preserve affordable home ownership and rental housing opportunities.
The event, co-chaired by Abyssinian Baptist Church Pastor, the Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and Carver Bank Chairman, President and CEO Deborah C. Wright, included a rousing performance by Roy Ayers and his band. WNBC-TV’s DeMarco Morgan served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.
The gathering brought out more than 300 business, civic and political leaders, including theater producer Vy Higginson, Sheena Wright, CEO of Abyssinian Development Corp and Maurice Coleman, senior vice president of Bank of America.
WHGA has developed 1,200 units of affordable housing, created approximately 325 units of home ownership opportunities and moved more than 3,000 families from transitional to permanent housing since its founding in 1971. By leveraging partnerships with the community-at-large, elected officials as well as private and public supporters, WHGA has become a leading affordable housing community development corporation (CDC).
Honorees included Adam Weinstein, president and CEO of The Phipps Houses Group (Leadership Award); philanthropist and social activist Sherry B. Bronfman (Community Service Award); and Patricia A. Sampson, managing director of the Bank of New York Mellon (Community Service Bankers Award).
“In a challenging economy, we have to increase our efforts even more to preserve our neighborhoods, and the families that live here,” said WHGA Executive Director Donald Notice. “We can only do that working with other like-minded individuals. The quality partnership of Phipps, the service commitment of Ms. Bronfman to the Harlem community and the supportive leadership demonstrated by Pat Sampson and Bank of New York Mellon are what will help West Harlem Group Assistance to continue our tradition of building community.”
Proceeds from the WHGA Gala Reception will continue the work of the organization to preserve affordable housing options in West Harlem . For more information on WHGA, visit www.WHGAinc.org.
The event was produced by Saundra B. Parks of The Daily Blossom.
Photo 1: Gouri S. Mukherjee, sponsor, Chase; honoree Adam Weinstein, The Phipps Houses; honoree Patricia Sampson, BNY Mellon; West Harlem Group Assistance Executive Director Donald C. Notice; Maurice Coleman, sponsor, Bank of America. Photo credit: Claus Eggers. Photo 2: Honoree Sherry Bronfman, the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and Vanessa Bronfman. Photo credit: Claus Eggers.