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Local Area Talent Invited to Participate in the Annual Palm Springs Black History Month Gospel Fest

PALM SPRINGS, CA- Gearing up for another outstanding season of cultural festivities, the Palm Springs Black History Committee invites members of the community to participate in its yearly ceremonial Gospel Fest. The event, which heralds the official kickoff of the year’s Black History Month celebrations, is scheduled to take place Sunday, January 31, 2016.

Promising to be an afternoon rooted in culture and tradition, the Gospel Fest will set the pace for the 2016 Black History Month theme “Hallowed Grounds of African American History.”  It aims to highlight the rich cultural legacy upon which the Palm Springs African American community has forged here in the desert region.

“Gospel music has always been important to our community,” says Linda Gray, Gospel Fest committee chairperson and long time Palm Springs resident. “It has been a means by which we gather and communicate to express our spirituality along with our connection to each other.”

According to Gray, the Gospel Fest has traditionally held a very significant role in the Black History Month celebrations. It first started out as an all community choir made up of desert residents from across the Coachella valley.  The choir, which sung at the grand opening celebration, became the official launch to the season’s programming.  This tradition soon evolved into an event all within itself allowing the Gospel Fest to garner the position as the official opening of Black History Month for the Desert residents. It serves as a catalyst to gather the community and set the tone for the festivities to come.

Members of the community of all ages are invited to participate as we gather to celebrate and share the vast talent represented in our region. The event is scheduled to take place United Methodist Church 1555 E. Alejo Road in Palm Springs from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission to the general public is $2. The deadline for talent to apply is Friday, January 15, 2016. For more information contact Linda.gray@palmspringsca.gov or visit www.Palmspringsblackhistory.org

Riverside Fraternity Spreads Holiday Cheer to Inland Empire Families

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RIVERSIDE, CA- On Sunday, December 20, the Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. held its annual “Shop with a Kappa” gift giving event for Riverside County children.  The shopping extravaganza was held in partnership with the Riverside Wal-Mart on Canyon Springs Parkway, where children and their families shopped the aisles for much needed items.

“Giving to families and enhancing the lives of children is what Christmas is truly about,” says Polemarch Demarius Carmichael.  “I think our fraternity members had as much fun giving as the children had receiving.”

Each child received a $100 store gift certificate from a Kappa sponsor, which enabled him or her to purchase toys and essentials.  Upon checking out, the Wal-Mart management team greeted children with goodie bags and snacks.

“The children seemed very excited about the event,” says parent Angela Coggs, whose son Yonathan is a youth Kappa League member.  “Many of them were selfless and wanted to select gifts that would not only benefit them, but their entire families.”

Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. is an international Greek Letter fraternity that was founded in 1911.  It has more than 150,000 members with 721 undergraduate and alumni chapters.  The Riverside Alumni Chapter is actively involved in community service and youth mentoring.  Its annual scholarship fundraisers and charitable events, which include an annual Thanksgiving food drive and Shop with a Kappa, enable families to receive much needed support.

To learn more about the Riverside Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and its programs, please visit www.rackapsi.com.

Assemblymember Brown Partners With Young Visionaries on Annual Toy Giveaway

Youth Performers and Community Youth at the Event

Youth Performers and Community Youth at the Event

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- This year, Assemblymember Cheryl R. Brown proudly supported Young Visionaries’ 10th Annual Toy Giveaway and Resource Fair at Living Way Church in Fontana.

Nearly 1,500 residents attended the event, which included a turkey and toy giveaway, free shoes, coats, socks, and a Prop 47 workshop hosted by the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office. Items were donated by Young Visionaries; Assemblymember Brown,  47th District; Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren; Walmart; Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County; New Life Christian Church; Living Way Church; Congregations Organized for Prophetic Engagement (COPE); One Body; Firefighters’ Spark of Love Toy Drive; Kappa Alpha Psi; and the United Auto Workers.

“Thanks to Terrance Stone, his staff and the generosity of others, this year’s event was an overwhelming success,” stated Assemblymember Brown. “This was my 3rd Annual Toy Drive, and I’m very proud to have worked with Terrance Stone. I look forward to supporting next year’s giveaway.”

According to event staff, local residents started lining up outside the church at 2:30 a.m. Once the event began at 9 a.m., families were directed to various sites to pick up their items. They were also given an opportunity for a chance to win a bicycle. Special remarks were given by Congresswoman Norma Torres, 35th District, and entertainment was provided by Creating Hopeful Opportunities and Resilience by Developing Skills (C.H.O.R.D.S.) Enrichment Youth Program.

“This was our 10th Annual Toy Drive in the County of San Bernardino, and it was our largest one to date,” stated Terrance Stone, Founder and CEO of Young Visionaries. “We’re celebrating a decade of giving, and hopefully we can leave a legacy behind for the next generation. It’s an honor to be a blessing to others.”

In addition to the giveaways, a diversity of community-based organizations and government entities distributed literature and other helpful information during the resource fair. Approximately 30 vendors participated; among them were Covered California, the African American Mental Health Alliance, El Sol, and the Riverside County Black Chamber of Commerce.

“It was a great pleasure to see the parents and their children as they received their gifts with joy, excitement and appreciation,” concluded Assemblymember Brown. “It’s truly an honor to give back to the communities that I serve.”

For more information, contact Ashley Jones at (909) 381-3238.