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June 2005
Apollo Theater Foundation Presents Its Inaugural Spring Benefit: The Magic Lives On

Apollo Theater Foundation Presents Its Inaugural Spring Benefit: The Magic Lives On


On Monday, June 20th, 2005, The Apollo Theater hosted its inaugural APOLLO 2005 SPRING BENEFIT: THE MAGIC LIVES ON. This star-studded gala brought together the best in business and entertainment to raise funds in support of the legacy of The Apollo Theater.

The Apollo 2005 Spring Benefit will be a stellar and soulful evening complete with a "Walk of Fame" processional on the red carpet, an outdoor concert in tribute to Apollo Legends, a VIP Sponsors cocktail party, and a magnificent Apollo concert and honors ceremony featuring performances by stage and screen star Vanessa Williams, acclaimed smooth R&B group Boyz II Men, soul artist Gerald Levert, and gospel sensation Bebe Winans.

The evening will began at 5:30 p.m. with the Apollo Moments -- a free outdoor community event located on 125th Street in front of the Apollo Theater. Afterward, an intimate Sponsors VIP reception preceded the highlight of the evening, The 2005 Apollo Spring Benefit Concert & Awards Ceremony. The evening started with the orchestra performing past hits such as "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind, and Fire. The Sean "P.Diddy" Combs entered the stage to introduce the Boyz II Men, minus Michael McCary, who sang a medley of their songs. They then brought out Gerald Levert. Levert tore it up as he sang "Just a Little Something". Other performers include Vanessa Williams, Daruis DeHaas, Chuck Jackson, and Bebe Winans, who recently lost his brother Ronald Winans.

In a special tribute to the late Ossie Davis, Chairman Emeritus of The Apollo Theater Board of Directors and his wife Ruby Dee, the Apollo Theater Foundation has this year established the Ossie and Ruby Award, which will be presented annually to a married couple who replicates the pair's commitment to family, community, and to the craft. The first Ossie and Ruby Award will be presented to film producer/director phenomenon Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, a contemporary author.

Esteemed Apollo benefactors Sandy and Joan Weill received the Corporate Award for their ongoing support of The Apollo Theater and its programs. In addition, the venerated Community Award -- given to those who have made an outstanding contribution to both The Apollo Theater and the Harlem community-at-large -- was jointly awarded to Congressman Charles B. Rangel and entrepreneur/activist Percy E. Sutton.

The event was then followed by the Apollo Legends Lounge Party -- a fabulous, A-list soiree complete with a fantastic menu of food, live music, dancing and mingling under an elegant outdoor canopy.

Sponsors for The 2005 Apollo Spring Benefit included Time Warner, Starwood Foundation (Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide), Belvedere Vodka, Coca-Cola Foundation, Citigroup, Apollo Real Estate Advisors, L.P., TV One and Mercedes-Benz. The 2005 Apollo Spring Benefit Committee is comprised of such elite members as Andre Leon Talley, Quincy Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Suzanne de Passe, Gayle King and Chris Rock.

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