Monday, September 26, 2005

Heroes, Legends and Us

This past weekend Shawnee and I dedicated some hours to the HAL foundation annual awards celebration. On Saturday and Sunday, we dressed in all black and paced the floors of two ritzy hotels (The Wyndham Bel Age and Beverly Hills hotel resepctively) for a great cause. Their annual scholarship awards provides three deserving students with cash for college and honors some Heroes & Legends in music, television and film.

The foundation was started by Janie Bradford, a legend in her own right. She penned such songs for Motown as "Money (That's What I Want)" and "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby." This year they honored other Women of Motown, including talented writers and singers that go unmentioned in mainstream tributes to the era. Other notable honorees included Regina Belle, Johnny Gill and Malcom Jamal Warner (who has an incredibly warm personality).

("The Ladies of Motown," from left: Gloria Jones, Kim Weston, Janie Bradford, Claudette Robinson (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles), Brenda Holloway, and Betty Kelley (Martha & The Vandellas) kneeling.

This was the most fun I've had working all day in heels since...I can't remember when. The staff and volunteers were cool and included two girls from Mississippi that informed us that we sounded like "Bay Girls" and a few people that mistook us for teens. We worked the ballroom door and received orders not to allow anyone without a 'dinner ticket' in--including celebrities. Shawnee took her job seriously, "chin-checking" towering grown men and little old ladies without stubs. I had to stop one girl from going after Freda Payne, who was on the list but looked 20 years younger than any of us expected her to.

From Left: Shawnee and Shawnelle. Shawnee: "I pity the fool without a dinner ticket!" I'm just happy to have a headset.

Shawnee soaking up some sun during a break at the The Beverly Hills Hotel.

Shawnelle with famed Motown producer Darius Kelly--Just kidding. He's a writing buddy of ours that told us about the event.

Throughout the event, I was dealing with a nasty little case of the flu, so I had to leave before the curtains closed but I'd like to think that I did my part to help the event run pretty darn smoothly if I must say so myself. Our parting gift included a nice little bag filled with goodies including See's candy and Kiehl's bath and body products. Yummy!