Ethnic Online “media partner” for New Haven Links 45th Anniversary
by Markeshia Ricks New Haven Independent
The New Haven Chapter of The Links Inc. celebrated 45 years of service Saturday night in a star-studded scholarship gala that honored two Tony Award-winning actresses and a couple of hometown heroes too.
More than 300 guests made their way to the Cascade banquet facility in Hamden for cocktails, dinner and dancing to congratulate the New Haven Links on its long legacy of service in the community and to snag a selfie with friends and a star or two.
Chapter President Cathy Graves told the crowd dressed in their evening finery Saturday night that The Links Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations for women, having been established in 1946. The New Haven chapter was established in 1972. The organization has 283 chapters in 41 states, Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas.
“Being linked in service, we have been able to touch the lives of New Haven citizens through programming in our facet areas of the arts, national trends, international trends, service to youth, and health and human services,” Graves said.
The money that The Links raises through the annual gala provides direct help to high school students pursuing higher education. The New Haven chapter of The Links has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to graduating high school students in the area.
Links members Sheila Carmon and Dr. Tamiko Jackson McArthur came into the New Haven chapter of the organization together 15 years ago. They took on the planning of the event as its co-chairs. WNHH FM’s own Michelle Turner served as the mistress of ceremonies for the evening.
In addition to dinner and dancing to the smooth sounds of the Warren Daniels Band, the Links took the time Saturday night to honor two Tony Award-winning actresses: Anika Noni Rose and Melba Moore.
Rose starred in the award-winning Dreamgirls and is the voice of “Princess Tiana” in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog. She won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in Caroline, or Change. Moore is a Grammy-nominated singer whose rendition of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was entered into the Congressional Record. She also won the Tony Award for Best Performace by a Featured Actress in a Musical for Purlie.
The Links also took time to salute local trailblazers for their work. Lisa Bellamy Fluker, the managing partner of Belconsulting Training Solutions, that is now 17 years old. Bellamy Fluker specializes in consulting, executive coaching, personal and professional development and instruction for technology for government, non-profit and corporate clients. She also uses her skills through a women’s ministry.
The Myatt Center for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of New Haven also was honored for its work promoting diversity, awareness, and sensitivity on campus.
The gala’s sponsors included: Berchem Moses PC Attorneys and Counselors at Law; Cornell Scott Hill Health Center; The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; Start Community Bank; Carmody, Torrance Sandak & Hennessey; Brown & Kapp: Yale New Haven Health Systems; Kelley, Drye & Warren LLP.; Pullman & Comley; Office of Steven Mednick; Crest Automall; and Dr. Hauschka Skin Care.
The members of New Haven chapter of the The Links Inc. are: Cathy R. Graves (president); Elsie B. Chapman (vice president); April Adams-Johnson; Dara Richards; Tracey J. Twitty-Philpot; Deborah Dyett Desir; Patricia Brett: Elizabeth Brown; Sheila Carmon; Wendy A. Clarke; Bettye Fletcher Comer; Camille J. Cooper; Cindy Crusto; Phyllis Cummings-Texeira; Leslie Douglas-Churchwell; Jean Patterson Downing; Patricia Downing; Ramona Jean Gatison; Keisha S. Gatison-Smith; Dorothy Gill; Djana Faith Harp; Toni Nathaniel Harp; Cheryl Henderson; Gygi DeLondon Jennings; Mycki Smith Jennings; Thelma Johnson; Dorsey L. Kendrick; Annette D. Madlock Gatison; Lisette Martinez; Patsy Mayo; Tamiko Jackson McArthur; Cynthia Hall McCraven; Marguerite McCraven; Maria Morris; Gail Dianna Myatt; Janette J. Parker; Barbara Patton; Andrea M. Scott; Rolan Young Smith; Annette R. Streets; Carolyn L. Streets; Margo Taylor; Deborah G. Thomas; Diana Tyler; Gretchen Vaughn; and Alexis N. Warner.
For more photos of the 45th Anniversary of the New Haven Links, click below:
Photos by Kristie Conte