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Celebrity Philanthropy News
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Black Tie International: Celebrity Philanthropy News-
Darryl Strawberry


Ray Negro,  Darryl Strawberry

Ray Negro and Darryl Strawberry.  Photo by:  Ann Watt
SoBRO 36th Anniversary Gala, Nov 12, 2008




SoBRO 36th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Auction co-chairman , Simon Bergson, Chairman of the Board of the South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation and his co-chair Mark Castle of the Bank of New York, Mellon along with SoBRO ’s President & CEO Phillip Morrow welcomed several hundred guests to their annual celebration of helping to build a better Bronx. As usual, the gala pulled in a hefty crowd of business, real estate, education and political leaders – and of course New York Yankees!


For over three and a half decades, SoBRO has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the South Bronx by strengthening businesses, creating and implementing innovative economic and housing initiatives, and providing quality education and career development programs for youth and adults


Honored at the Gala were several individuals and businesses that have demonstrated a clear commitment to SoBRO’s mission, including: Turner Construction, for their commitment to hiring local residents and so willingly sharing their success with the community; NYC Council Member, Maria del Carmen Arroyo, for her unfaltering support of the community’s shared interests; Jeanne B. Mullgrav, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, whose efforts have allowed SoBRO and  hundreds of other community organizations to maintain and expand life-changing youth and adult education programs; and Sultana Distribution Services, Brian Gold, CEO,  another local business that has demonstrated a strong commitment to the ideals at the core of SoBRO’s mission. A special award was also presented to All star baseball player second baseman Roberto Alomar.
 His good friend and former Yankees teammate
Darryl Strawberry
accepted the award on his behalf.


Following the cocktail reception, guests dined on a menu of Caprese salad, Filet Mignon with peppercorn cognac sauce, salmon in lemon butter with a warm fennel, roasted corn and tomato salad followed by chocolate mousse cake with mango & berry compote.



Phillip delighted to see so many friends and longtime supporters introduced emcee Bill Evans, the popular meteorologist at WABC – TV who had recently visited The Bronx to see first hand the extraordinary work SoBRO has done to transform The Bronx. So impressed was Evans that he donated a special auction prize - a tour of WABC-TV for up to 30 including teachers and chaperones (if a class wins), with the opportunity to sit on the news set and watch the Noon Newscast live, plus one person will get to do the 5-day forecast with Bill when they go out live on location and do the weather. Bill proved to be not only a humorous but masterful auctioneer selling his behind the scenes package four times when bidding became fierce!


Bill’s pals from WABC-TV were out in full force including co-anchors Lori Stokes and Ken Rosato, fellow meteorologist Jeff Smith and producer Mark Crudele.

Also lending their support were School Chancellor Joel Klein, City Councilman Robert Jackson, Controller Bill Thompson and Congressman Charles Rangel. The Gala Committee included Stephanie Burns, Jo Ann Hill, Craig Livingston, Blondel Pinnock, Anthony Riccio, Amnon Shalov, Gail & Joel Steinberg, Franklin Weiss, Esq. and
Jean Smith.


The evening was also a chance for SoBRO to celebrate a number of success stories in a variety of ways. Students from Evander Childs High School in a special theater arts program performed an excerpt of a from an original musical First Prince of Western High,
Samantha Dickson performed a musical interlude; teens from the Bronx Leadership Academy studying photography showed two short student created films and Chanel Thornton, a graduate of SoBRO’s Youth Build program was applauded for having overcome a host of issues to graduate from high school. As is tradition, The Bartlett Contemporaries provide their soulful tunes for dancing following the awards.




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