*Over 800 spirited Charlie Angels anteed up from $200 to $2,500 to attend Congressman Charles B. Rangel’s 80th birthday fundraiser in the Grand Ballroom of the ritzy Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, August 11, 2010 featuring stellar performances by Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson.
Many distinguished members of the New York Congressional Delegation joined top notch Democrats at the sold out celebration including Gov.
David Paterson who served as the evening’s emcee, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Honorables Charles E. Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, Bill De Blasio, Christine Quinn, Thomas DiNapoli, Sheldon Silver, Inez E. Dickins, Basil Paterson, Al Sharpton and former Mayor David N. Dinkins.
The event had many on both sides of the political isle scratching their heads as they expected to attend a burial. “I’ve been to a lot of funerals, and this damn sure ain’t no funeral,” roared the gravel-voiced Rangel, to raucous applause. The 20-term member of the House is facing a Democratic primary and a congressional ethics trial in September.
“Don’t turn your cameras off, don’t put your notepads down,” said a feisty Rev. Sharpton to the media. “You have started and executed a political execution, so stay tuned for a political resurrection,” added Sharpton in support of Rangel’s triumphant regeneration.
And as Harlem’s favorite son seemingly will have the last laugh, he also had the last dance. “Please remember me in your prayers,” Rangel pleaded as he boogied off the stage and the party lights came up. The party might have ended but the fight is just beginning . . . Go, Charlie! (Photos courtesy AP and Getty Images)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.