New York, NY
May 6, 2010
By Robert Hasan James
Photography by Steve Foto Moon
Steve Harvey is known all over the world as one- fourth of the “Kings of Comedy”, Actor, Morning Show Radio Host and even a Clothing Designer but on Monday, May 3, 2010, he fulfilled his calling as a man of purpose. The 1st Annual Steve Harvey Foundation Gala was held in high fashion at New York’s Cipriani Wall Street with well over 500 supporters from the world of business, entertainment, family and friends. The $1000 a plate event went to a worthy cause indeed, however Steve joked “If you pay this kind of money, you better have some decent food”. “At $1,000 a plate, you have rights!” Notables such as: Nicole Ari Kudjoe, Rev. Al Sharpton, Malik Yoba, Common, Sherri Shepherd, Byron Lewis (CEO of Uniworld Group), New York Yankee Alum; Dave Winfield, LA Reid, Dr. Ian Smith, Judge Mathis, Steve Smith and The Morning Crew (Tommy, Shirley, Carla) from The Steve Harvey Morning Show were all in attendance.
The evening was co- hosted by Steve Harvey and Robin Roberts of Good Morning America and it is evident that the two have worked together before as their chemistry was impeccable. The honorees of this special night were Geoffrey Canada of the Harlem Children’s Zone, Pam El of State Farm and Two- Time Academy Award Winner and Philanthropist, Denzel Washington. Upon receiving his award, Geoffrey Canada was quick to thank his family and staff of the Harlem Children’s Zone. He also admonished all African-American Men and Women to take a leadership role in saving our children. Pam El of State Farm was very humbled by her award and spoke of how persistent Steve Harvey was in getting State Farm to be more prevalent in the African- American community. Steve wanted to do the honors of presenting the final award to his friend Denzel Washington as he described a man who is not only “One of the greatest actors of our time” but someone who is a “silent giver” to many charities. However, the highlight of the night came when Washington (three minutes into his speech), donated an astounding $1 Million to the foundation and admonished all of the men in the room to be a mentor during the Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend in June.
Six-Time Grammy Winner, Toni Braxton, ended the evening with a string of her hits like “Unbreak My Heart” and “Breathe Again”. The evening was inspiring and collectively, over $1.3 million was raised for the foundation. Throughout the entire night Steve credited his wife Marjorie with coming up with the idea to do the gala in the first place and he was extremely grateful that she did. The bible speaks of laughter being “good for the soul” and Steve Harvey definitely makes us laugh! However, beyond the laughter, he realizes that there are young men out there who need guidance and need to know the principles of manhood. For if you know those principles, you make a better son, brother, boyfriend, husband, father and most of all, a better man. A wise man once said: “The more people you help become successful, the more successful you become”. Thank you for those words of wisdom Mr. Harvey…
About The Steve Harvey Foundation & Mentoring Weekend
Hosting the inaugural Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men during Father’s Day Weekend in 2009, Harvey brought 100 teenage boys and their guardians from around the country to his ranch in Dallas. The program’s success inspired Harvey to expand his mission nationwide and create 10 satellite mentoring programs this year in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Tampa, Washington DC, Charlotte, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Shreveport. This year’s Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men will take place in Dallas, June 17th -20th with sponsorship from American Airlines, State Farm, The Home Depot, Hillshire Farm, Glory Foods, Sam’s Club, Budget, FBI, Choice Hotels, 21st Century Foundation, Soft Sheen Carson, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Kmart. For information about The Steve Harvey Mentoring Weekend for Young Men or to make a donation, please visit www.SteveHarveyFoundation.com.