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Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
Hey...let's bring in the New Year!!!! 2007 was good, but let's make 2008 GREAT!  How do we do that?  Let's first look at some traditional ways we as Americans celebrate bringing in the New Year.  On New Year's Eve many people flock to New York City, or tune in their televisions as it gets close to midnight on New Year's Eve, to watch the traditional ball drop with Dick Clark...but I think now we have Ryan Seacrest.  This tradition started in 1907 and as the clock ticks away and the ball drops, people begin singing "Auld Lang Syne" written by Robert Burns.

Another tradition that I actually grew up following, is to attend what is known as "Watch Night Service" at church.  This is where people come together to give thanks for all the goodness that God has bestowed upon them over the past year.  It is a time where attendees give their testimony, there's plenty of music, there's usually a sermon.  To culminate the evening everyone would end up on their knees in prayer at midnight to bring in the New Year.  Oftentimes these services would also move straight into a feast (breakfast) in the church social hall until everyone was tired and went home to bed.

On New Year's Day, I think Southern California holds the attention of America (as well as across the world) with all eyes on Pasadena, California, home of the Tournament of Roses Parade.  This event started in 1890 and displays floats made of every kind of flower, grain, fruit and live materials imaginable, (It you've never seen a float in person, it is definitely a site to behold).   Following the parade many spend the rest of the day watching and enjoying the Rose Bowl football game.  This year the game will be between the University of Illinois and that other school,  the University of Southern California (USC).  Yes I am a BRUIN!  But on this day I will be rooting for USC.

For many African Americans Kwanzaa also falls during this time.  The sixth day of Kwanzaa (which falls on New Year's Eve),  is Kuumba which means "Creativity."  ...to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it. ( Are we doing that?)  The seventh and final day of Kwanzaa falls on New Year's Day and it is Imani, which means "Faith."  ...to believe with all our heart, in our heart, in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.  I would like to take the personal liberty of adding under the "Imani" step to not forget to add God to the mix who made all things possible.

So no matter what you will be doing to bring in the New Year and celebrate what's to come, make it an event that you share with those you love.  Oh by the way, if you plan to serve black eyed peas, let me know so I can stop by and take a bite.  You know a tradition in our community is to serve them, "eat peas on new year's day to have plenty of everything the rest of the year!" 

Happy New Year, and God Bless!


Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.   

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
This will be the last article before we celebrate Christmas and I wanted to stop and say thank you to all of the clients, friends, and people that have so graciously supported me and Personal Services Plus Event Management Company over this past year.  You are truly a "gift!"  For us at PSP it has been a serious year of growth and transition and without all of your support, it would not have been possible.

As I reflect back, it has been about four months since I've been writing my article each week for the Black Voice News.  I want to thank Mr. & Mrs. Brown, Paulette, and everyone at the paper  for allowing me to share my thoughts and ideas regarding events and the community.  I sincerely hope that not only will I be able to support my clients by spreading the news of what they are doing in the community, but also to give valuable tips and information to those of you that take time to read my column each week.

As we close out 2007 and begin the thoughts of a new year, I hope to give you information that will inspire and motivate you to make it the best year ever.  If you have questions, ideas or thoughts that you would like to share with me or our audience, please don't hesitate to email me at wendy@personalservicesplus.com and I promise to take time to read and address all of your concerns.  Next week I will give you some final thoughts on how to celebrate the New Year and keep it safe and peaceful!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney
This past week I had the distinct pleasure of coming home and assisting the Black Voice Foundation with their 3rd Annual Hardy Brown Birthday Gala honoring Nancy Wilson at the Riverside Convention Center.  Our emcees for the evening were, Attorney James Curtis of James Curtis & Associates and Court TV.  We also had one of our Riverside daughter's, Daniella Masterson, Host of V 100 "A New Day" radio program.  Also on the dias was Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, "Judge Mablean", Cheryl and Hardy Brown, and our guest of honor Ms. Nancy Wilson.

The Black Voice News publishers Hardy and Cheryl Brown founded the Black Voice Foundation, Inc., in 1988 with a mission to train and educate individuals in print media.  With the digital revolution, the rapid growth of technology in the world of communications and media, and the need to impact lives through a diverse set of multi-media platforms, the Foundation has expanded its mission to include digital and electronic media and a burgeoning set of projects in the fields of media, history and the arts.  The Foundation offers a number of programs including:  the Black Voice Internship Program and Institute; Footsteps to Freedom Underground Railroad Study Tours, Isaac Family Collection of African Artifacts, Booker T. Washington Public History Project, Gospel Music History Project, Califest Hip-Hop Theater Studio and the "Art Changes Lives" campaign.  They also have a new IE Scholarship Program in conjunction with local Black Churches.

The evening started with a private reception hosted by famed artist Charles Bibbs and finance veteran Napoleon Brandford, III.  After the reception, the gala got off to a prestigious start with the Temple Missionary Baptist Church Cub and Boy Scout Troop marching in and leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Being true to our heritage, we had to pause and give thanks to the Lord.  Pastor Ron Gibson from LIFE Church of God in Christ centered us by doing the Invocation.  The dinner entertainment was led by Ray Fuller and his Band featuring the music of J. Boykin.  The Scruggs Sisters (also no stranger to Riverside) did a music medley of Ms. Nancy Wilson's songs through the years and brought down the house.  I must say Riverside showed up and showed out in giving honor to both Hardy Brown for his birthday and Ms. Nancy Wilson!

The gala was topped off with a silent auction where all of the proceeds went to help with the work of The J W Vines Society.  We want to give thanks to all of the major sponsors who made the evening a success, Southern California Edison, SE Corporation, The Sun Newspaper and the Black Voice News.  Everyone that supported in any way, we thank you!

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

Event Planning With Wendy Gladney Brooks

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Wendy Gladney Brooks
We are in December and officially in the holiday season.  This season represents so many things to different communities.  No matter what your ethnicity, culture, religious belief or background, typically this time of year brings out the best in mankind all over the world.

Some of the Christian faith started on December 2nd with what's known as the "First Sunday of Advent."  Advent is the season in which the faithful prepare themselves for the coming, or advent, of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is celebrated for the four Sundays prior to Christmas.

December 5th kicked off Hanukkah. This religious holiday is also known as the "Festival of Lights."  It is to celebrate the purification of the Temple of Jerusalem among the Jewish people.

December 25th is observed as Christmas and is celebrated as  the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ all over the world.  Although there's been debate as to when his "actual" birth date is - this date is observed.

December 26th kicks off Kwanzaa.  This holiday was founded by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to reaffirm African values and to serve as a communal celebration among African people in the Diaspora.  It consists of seven principles.

  • Unity
  • Self Determination
  • Collective Work & Responsibility
  • Cooperative Economics
  • Purpose
  • Clarity
  • Faith

Whatever your faith and belief system, stand strong and be proud.  Never be ashamed for what you believe and  share it with others.  Learn and understand what you believe and why, then find a way that to celebrate it and make it your own "event."  As for me and my house, we believe in Jesus Christ and will be celebrating his birth by giving gifts to the less fortunate as we give unto Him for His birthday.  Also being of African American heritage, we will also join in the affirmations of Kwanzaa.  So do your research and celebrate!!! 

If you have an event or community question, please email me at Wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  We thank you for supporting those that give back to our community to make it a better place!

Give your all in all that you do. Then the PLUS won't just be more, it will be the difference!


Wendy is the founder and president of Personal Services Plus, Inc., an Event Management Company.  Visit  www.personalservicesplus.com  or email her at wendy@personalservicesplus.com.  

IE Kwanzaa Event at the Jazz Bakery

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ONTARIO
 

The San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW-SGV), Inc., Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (KAY), Inc. and the Inland Area Kwanzaa Group (IAKG) are hosting a Kwanzaa Celebration at the Jazz Café in Ontario on Sunday, December 30. This year's theme is "Celebrating a Culture and Sharing a Vision."

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. It is a holiday celebration that is celebrated from December 26- January 1st. Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor at California State University, Long Beach.

Dr. Karenga created Kwanzaa to reaffirm and restore African culture, serve as a regular communal celebration and to introduce and reinforce the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-Determination), Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity), and Imani (Faith).

The Kwanzaa celebration will include crafts for the children, a program that features the lighting of the candles and a feast. The event will be from 3:00 PM -7:00 PM at 1133 W. 6th Street Ontario, CA (one block south of 10 Fwy ~ Mountain Exit). The cost of this event is $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 17 and under. For more information call 909.447.6800.


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