LOS ANGELES-When Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul arrived in Los Angeles, our city was more than a place to work but a place to make a home. The change we needed to see “on and off court” for our community began to happen. From putting the Los Angeles Clippers on the map to bringing inspiration into the lives of children, Paul’s team spirit has been infectious. It is a trait that should be lauded and commended.
In a world of false entitlement, the multi-talented Paul is the epitome of family, being a team player and a giver. His selflessly actions have shown us how to establish a sense of community, make friends and be a good neighbor. Paul was rewarded for his contributions to the people that matter in Los Angeles – the children – at the 48th Annual Brotherhood Crusade Bakewell/Bremond Pioneer of African American Achievement Award. The 2016 theme “Change the World through Giving,” epitomes the importance of the role of humanitarians, nonprofit organizations and the Ancient Greek philosophy of philanthropy which, in part states, “love of what it is to be human” is the essential nature and purpose of humanity, culture and civilization.
“We were honored to shine a light on Chris Paul and the Chris Paul Family Foundation. Chris is a friend, mentor, partner and supporter who have made a profound impact in the lives of Brotherhood Crusade youth in his professional and humanitarian roles,” said President/CEO of the Brotherhood Crusade Charisse Bremond Weaver. “Over the years, Chris has given his time, his money and most importantly his heart to make a difference in the lives of our youth and our community. Our kids get to talk to him, learn from him and know that he truly cares and believes in them.”
Nearly 1,000 of Los Angeles’ influential people attended the purple carpet gala held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Among those in attendances was music icon Berry Gordy, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. who recently celebrated his 75th birthday, State Senators Holly J. Mitchell and Steven Bradford, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, District 9 City Councilman Curren Price and his wife Del, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dr. Juanita Watts of Kaiser Permanente, one of the Gold Sponsors of the event.
Holman United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Kelvin Sauls gave the invocation. Master of Ceremonies Chris Schauble of KTLA 5 and the Mistress of Ceremonies Pat Prescott of the 94.7 The Wave kept the crowd on its toes with humor and engaged the audience in giving donations via text.
The guests were entertained with live performances by Grammy Award winning R&B singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton and a powerful spoken word presentation by the Engaging Men Theatre Troupe, a collaborative project with Peace over Violence, Amazing Grace Conservatory and Brotherhood Crusade. The seven performers, ranging in ages of 17 to 24, were: Miles Clarke, Gabriel Hercules, Robin Hall, Eric Williams, Eric Hare, Kailin Lang, and McKinley Jordan IV. Each delivered positive messages of peace and love and raised awareness about social issues.
“Basketball is what I do, but not who I am,” said Paul. “I have a strong passion for kids.”
Paul is a husband to Jada, the love of his life, and together they have a son and daughter. As the face of the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul’s talent goes beyond basketball. He is a two-time gold medalist in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games, a philanthropist and businessman. For more than 11 years, Paul and his family through the Chris Paul Family Foundation have enriched the youth and communities like Los Angeles.
Again Paul proved that his drive to assist “on and off court,” is his daily mantra. In an unusual move, Paul, in the midst of receiving his award, pledged $10,000 to the Brotherhood Crusade to assist them to reach their goal of raising $1 million dollars that night.
Los Angeles is fortunate to have the Most Valuable Neighbor (MVN) in our vast, diverse city. You can say that Paul is a great example of a MVN because he connects on a personal level not just relying on social media to create a community of supporters.
The world is in need of big hearts and people who build and support strong communities like Paul.
Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA, a public relations consultant, is the owner of Platinum Star PR and can be reached on Twitter @PlatinumStar or Instagram @PlatinumStarPR. Send health questions or stories related questions to email@example.com.