*This past Sunday, June 19 at the Hilton Hotel in Long Beach (California), celebrity judge Mablean Ephriam presented the 14th Annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards and Scholarship Brunch where the fathers of the African American community were uplifted and promoted.
The Mablean Ephriam Foundation has given away seventeen scholarships to high school students to help them go to college. The Foundation’s mission is to teach men and women how to become more responsible parents, husbands, wives and citizens through quality programs like the H.U.F. Awards.
This year’s Honorary Co-Chair was Senator Isadore Hall, III. Hall described the H.U.F. Awards as, “an incredible event that highlights the critical role fathers play in building strong families and a strong community.”
The H. U. F. Awards always has a great assortment of musical guests, and this year featured Gospel recording artist Dorinda Clark-Cole who took us “back to church,” backed up by H. U. F. Award’s musical director Mike Phillips. Phillips who’s annual performance on the saxophone has always been a hit with the crowd.
Gracing the Hilton this year is Actress and Activist Marla Gibbs. Gibbs, who is best known for her starring roles in the hit television shows 227 and The Jefferson’s, presented the Living Legacy Award to Frank Pinder for his lifetime of service to our nation as a mental health doctor.
Among the other celebrity presenters were Actor Wendell James from ‘Raising Whitley,’ Angell Conell from ‘The Young and the Restless,’ Ion Overman from ‘Madea Goes to Jail,’ Darius McCrary from ‘Family Matters,’ and Renee` Lawless from ‘The Haves and the Have Nots.’
KJLH’s Adai Lamar lent her beautiful voice as the event’s announcer, while the funny Mother Love took over for the absent Kim Whitley as the event’s host.
The Directors Award went to Bakewell Media’s Danny Bakewell Jr. who spoke proudly of both his father, Danny Bakewell Sr.’s influence on his life, as well as his admiration of his four wonderful children. The oldest, Taelor Bakewell, a graduate of his alma mater, USC, presented him the award.
“Being a dad is the greatest joy of my entire life,” said Bakewell Jr., “Truth is, from the moment that Taelor was born, I always wanted for her to say, ‘Where’s my dad?’”
Judge Mablean took care to personally present the Founder’s Award to KJLH Radio Personality Aundrae Russell for his twenty-five years of broadcasting excellence.
The Mablean Ephriam Foundation’s 2016 activities included a Private screening of ‘Race’ at Perry Middle School, a Christmas Toy Drive, Career Day and a Prom Glam Suite at Jefferson High School.
For more information about next year’s Honoring Unsung Father’s Brunch, go to http://www.mableanephriamfoundation.com/.