Tag Archives: gala

5th Annual Samaritan’s Foot Gala: we had no shoes??

I’d never heard of the Samaritan’s Feet organization until a few months ago. This life changing organization LITERALLY help children by washing their feet and providing them with shoes. At the same time, these amazing people keep them believing that anything is possible. One step at a time. (If you’d like to check out the website, I’ll leave the link HERE.) EVERYONE was barefoot. The message was beautiful with a smudge of creativity. We checked in our shoes when we checked into the event.

everyone's shoes

SHOE CHECK-IN

“Samaritan’s Feet is a 501 (c)(3) organization that shares a message of hope and love through washing the feet of impoverished children around the world and adorning them with new shoes.”

This years 5th Annual Gala was held at the Le Méridien in Charlotte, North Carolina. A GORGEOUS LOCATION along with fine dining. Jacinta Jacobs and Fly Ty on Air were our emcees for the evening. Last but not least, the founders. Manny and Tracie. They started out in their garage, with faith. Determined to make a difference, both in his homeland and around the world, Manny and his wife, Tracie began Samaritan’s Feet in 2003. Through Samaritan’s Feet, Manny has the opportunity to continue the legacy of love and hope he received when he was given his first pair of shoes and make a difference in the lives of millions.

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Did you know there are 2.2 billion people living in poverty who can’t afford education and basic articles of clothing like shoes? Did you know over 1.5 billion people are infected with diseases that are transmitted through contaminated soil? Did you know shoes and socks are reported to be in the “Top 5 Items Needed” by students in school? We take advantage of the fact that we have so much more than the average child in foreign countries. Keep them in your prayers. Although this organization has made a difference in millions of lives, there are still so many without the privilege.

A volunteer went to Nigeria and told the story of a boy. A boy in a school with no school supplies. She was washing his feet and discovered a razor in his sock. When she asked his teacher why he had such a thing, she said it was his pencil sharpener. It’s the little things. While giving ice cream to children, she noticed they weren’t eating it. Since it was their first time eating ice cream, the kids were trying to save it for later. It’s the little things.

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own head and heart and hands, and then work outward from there.” -Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

If you’re interested in hope for mankind, check out this beautiful article HERE. xo

OFA’S 2nd Annual Spotlight Gala: walking the red carpet + speaking out on human trafficking

When I found out about OFA, I was ECSTATIC. OFA stands for Operation Freedom Awareness. It’s a non profit organization dedicated to raising awareness in local communities and ultimately preventing Human Trafficking, beginning inside the United States. The long term goal of OFA is implementing prevention, and later introducing and operating a rescue and rehabilitation shelter. Mallory Charette is the official founder. She currently works in the Marketing & Public Relations Department for a prominent restaurant group in Downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Her determination has made such a huge difference for victims everywhere.

The Spotlight Gala shed a light on the progress & success this dedicated organization has made. As we arrived, a sparkling red carpet led the way into a club no other than the Poinsett Club. A glamorous spot for most charity events in the Greenville, SC area. Vintage patterned wallpapers & gorgeous tan drapes made the perfect vibes for an event so powerful. The guest speaker’s name was Tajuan McCarty. She was trafficked all the way to Greenville. She started selling drugs at a young age to make her quota every night. She began to depend on her pimp. Soon, she started drugs herself. Hard drugs. She eventually developed Stockholm Syndrome. It’s where you defend your abuser because you’ve come to depend on them so profusely.

OFA has saved 115 children from sex trafficking. 15 just in the upstate. There have been 10 pimps arrested & 11 victims helped. Currently, there are 10 cases being investigated. If there was anything I absorbed that night, it was that human trafficking is happening EVERYWHERE. All over the United States. The hotspots are carnivals, fairs, truck stops, and sites such as Craigslist.

Greenville, SC is in between the #1 hub for sex trafficking in the U.S. (Atlanta, GA) and another city in the top 20 (Charlotte, NC).

For more information about this hard working organization, I’ll leave the link HERE. In the mean time, scroll down for a picture of a pretty cool ceiling I saw at the gala 🙂 THANKS FOR READING LOVESSS. (Huge thank you to OFA for giving me the privilege to cover the event & another to Janae Hunter for makeup and hair.)

“There is no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.”

Sheen Magazine’s Legendary Weekend

During April 29th through May 1st, Sheen Magazine had their Legendary Weekend Event “Celebrating A Decade of Beauty Cultivation.” First off, I’d like to thank Sheen for letting me cover the event while being so accommodating to my aunt Ivy & I. I’d also like to thank Uber for getting us through Atlanta safely! If you don’t know what Uber is: download their safe app. No matter where you are, you can get a ride completely cashless. In fact, Joe Jones is an Uber driver in LA! Sign up with my invite code {mikaylah263ue} to get your first ride completely free!

Kim Chapman and Sammy Haynes

Ivy & I arrived to the Atlanta Marriott Marquis during the Women’s Panel. The popular hotel was packed! We pulled up to valet. Since there were so many people, the valet wasn’t able to accommodate us so we had to find a parking garage near the hotel. I’d done some research the night before and as it turns out, Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 were filmed right in the middle of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Anyway, when we walked in the panel was being hosted by Kim Chapman. Mrs. Chapman is the sole publisher of Sheen Magazine. There were some truly inspiring panelists, my favorite being Mushiya. If you haven’t heard of her, I STRONGLY encourage you to look her up. I recorded her entire speech word for word. To paraphrase, she has a TV show called Cutting it in the Atl. She brought out how she started her salon “The Damn Salon” with a comb, a chair, and a goal. her goal was to make natural hair beautiful. As she cleverly put it, don’t waste your time having a dream when you should be having a GOAL. The fashion icon definitely made her mark. I promise you this, she left everyone in that room inspired.

After the women’s panel came the men’s panel. Between the two, this one had the most celebrities. I had the priveledge of sitting front row. “What a Man Wants” was hosted by Sammi Haynes the editor & chief of Sheen. The panelists consisted of Christian Keyes (Saints & Sinners, Beauty and the Beast, Madea Goes to Jail, Diary of a Mad Black Women, etc), T.W. Dawson (motivational speaker, author), Pastor Adrian Davis, Tre Chapman (Chapman Founder Chair as well as Mrs. Chapman’s son) and Andre Braxton (Braxton Family Values, author). When I saw the pictures of the panelists I did an instant double take. I KNEW TRE CHAPMAN. I work at Banana Republic where he and his gorgeous girlfriend are two of our favorite customers. I had planned to go up to him after his panel, but I was surprised to see him appear right beside me! “You work at Banana Republic right?” I couldn’t believe he’d never brought up that his mother owned a magazine, but I realized that I never brought up I was a blogger. I’m always nervous when covering events, but the fact that I knew a familiar face settled my stomach. After the men’s panel I got to meet the rest of the panelists. All the women seemed to make a beeline for Christian Hayes. The highlight of that panel was after my selfie with Mr. Braxton. He asked for one of my business cards. While my aunt & I mingled, I received a few business cards myself. The creator of Lyne Cosmetics from lynecosmetics.com was so intriguing. She makes her own cosmetics and hires her own models. Her products have made celebrity appearances on Nickelodeon, participated in Ryan Seacreast giveaways, and were featured in the Water Mercedes Benz Fashion Show. A portion of each purchase is donated to end violence against women. Then, the CEO of Wrighteous Entertainment offered me his card. He manages not only his daughter, but many young actors/singers in the Atlanta area. Last but not least, Nelson-Merritt Productions. They’re an incredible photography & videography business that I encourage everyone to look in to. Especially since it’s wedding/graduation season.

The Men’s Panel

We called an Uber & headed to Lenox Square since we had a few hours before the Black Tie Gala started. The shopping mall was packed, but we managed to find everything we needed. I picked up a few graduation gifts & Ivy threw herself into the clothes. As I walked into Urban Outfitters, I checked my phone to find multiple text messages from a friend in Atlanta. I had known Beyonce was in the area because she had a concert at the Philips Arena the next day. Thanks to her, I discovered that it was rumored Beyonce was in Lenox at that exact moment. So I did what any fan would do. I got on Twitter… & as it turned out, the term “Lenox” was trending #1 worldwide because of the superstar. I still don’t know for sure if Beyonce was there while I was, but the fact that we shared the same city that day made all the difference.

As we Ubered back to the hotel, our driver passed the hotel drop off spot twice. I was so frustrated because the Gala was supposed to be the main event. Thankfully when we got to the red carpet, none of the honorees had arrived yet. I quickly found a spot in the mob of press. I was probably the only one who wasn’t from the Atlanta area. As the honorees started arriving, the commotion started getting bigger. Security was perched at each door while pressed workers rushed to get everyone in their seats. The honorees & special guests were Kelly Price (six time Grammy nominated singer), Margaret Avery (American actress & singer), Judge Glenda Hatchett (featured on The Tyra Banks Show, The View, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, CNN, etc), Renee Lawless (Tyler Perry’s The Have and the Have Nots), Angela Robinson (Tyler Perry’s The Have and Have Nots, Law and Order: SVU), Cocoa Brown (Ted 2, The People v. O.J. Simpson, Breaking Bad, The Single Moms Club, ER, Austin & Ally, The Arsenio Hall Show, etc), Towanda Braxton (Braxton Family Values, The Wendy Williams Show, BET Awards 2001, etc), Joseline Hernandez (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, BET Awards 2015), Jasmine Burke (Saints & Sinners, Ride Along, TVD, Meet the Browns, etc), and many more. The neat thing is, a couple days before the event, Margaret Avery commented on my Instagram picture. We had a small conversation, so when she arrived at the end of the red carpet I was so pumped to tell her who I was. Unfortunately, her manager whisked her away.


Most if not all of the special guests were located in Atlanta, although Sheen Magazine is located in Fountain Inn. The entire Gala was amazing. Under the dim of the lights and the shimmer of the dresses, I felt like I was under the stars. I’ll leave Sheen’s website here. They have events like fashion shows so often & I definitely encourage you guys to check them out. Until next time Atlanta!

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” – Coco Chanel