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Saturday – September 27th, 2014 – On a sunny afternoon in Watts, there was a great deal of activity centered on a house on the corner of 92nd St. and McKinley; it was there, behind a freshly painted white gate familiar to many, that Millicent “Mama” Hill was beaming, today was a special day. Mama Hill is the community beacon and founder of Mama Hill’s Help, Inc., a coalition for the support and advancement of Youth in the community of Watts and beyond.
On that special Saturday, the community came together for the anticipated “Celebrate The Children” fundraiser in support of Mama Hill’s Help, and the youth (dubbed “Cookies”) served by the program. The youth were greeted by balloon artists, and engaged throughout the day with activities including fitness challenges, tug-of-war, a three legged race and a very special 18th birthday celebration for a member of the Rotary Club’s Interact program. The event was chaired by Dr. Vicki Radel.
A Community, united in action
The event’s entertainment was led by David S. Robinson Hicks, who served as MC and announcer with the support of DJ Solange, and Marrean of KJLH. Performances and special contributions to the program were made by Sarah Lavallee (a modern dancer who gave the youth tips on interpretative movement following her original piece, “Try”), Cool-Aid The Clown (who conducted a water balloon toss and dance party with his colorful band of performers), T-Squad (a group of local dancers) and Maseo the Magician.
Team United’s (TU) performers and collaborators came out with gusto in support of Mama Hill’s youth, featured TU performers included KJE (a noted “Jazzoet”, performing a tribute piece entitled “Keith”), Kiya Sakari (serenading Mama Hill with “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry), and the Oak Street Elementary Ballet Folklorico Dancers, accompanied by their incomparable Principal, Richard Barter.
David S. Robinson Hicks (center, yellow shirt & Blublockers) with the revelers at "Celebrate The Children"
Through the support of Mike Castillo of Councilman Price’s office, Team United started a partnership with The Julian Nava Learning Academy, who will also be joining TU and GCBTTAF for the Pasadena Playhouse shows. In the past, TU and GCBTTAF have also brought in youth from Councilman Price’s district for Maurice Hines’ Tappin Thru Life in April 2014.
In addition to TU and GCBTTAF's presence, community organizations came out in droves to support the cause; including Grace Hopper STEM Academy, the Fair Chance Project, People for Community Improvement (PCI), Peace Now, The Los Angeles Community Art Project and several chapters of the Rotary Club International, accompanied by their affiliated "Interact" youth action groups (Crenshaw-Watts, Downtown LA, Lennox-Hawthorne, Lomita-Torrance Airport, Playa Venice, Redondo Beach and Del Amo).
Since 2013, TU and GCBTTAF have nurtured an ongoing partnership with Mama Hill’s Help Inc., their collaboration began with The Jackie Robinson Tribute Project, in which Mama Hill's cookies participated in as interviewees and performers.
Starting January 2014, with the support of the Malibu Ballet and Performing Arts Society, and Lula Washington Dance Theatre; TU and GCBTTAF were able to extend dance scholarship opportunities to Marshell Warren and Abrion Sims, two of Mama Hill’s most outstanding Cookies.
In the fall of 2014, The Jackie Robinson Tribute Project was submitted for consideration to the Sundance Film Festival, and the Peace On Earth Film Fest in Chicago.
To find out more about Mama Hill's Help, Team United, or Global Campus Brotherhood Through The Arts Foundation
Mama Hill's Help
755 E. 92nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90002
Millicent "Mama" Hill: firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Kaminski: email@example.com
Team United and Global Campus Brotherhood Through The Arts Foundation
1626 N. Wilcox Ave #618
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Rhoda Robinson: (310) 967 9227, firstname.lastname@example.org
David S. Robinson Hicks: (323) 384 9731, email@example.com