Celebrities honored at the Center

0 Comments 📅October 26th, 2011, 21:31

Photo credit: Bonnie WillardWe have some big celebrities coming to the Knoxville Convention Center this week.

I am not just talking about the O’Jays. Yes they will be here too, and it will be fun to hear that Philadelphia soul that they are known for. I’m sure you remember “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train,” “I Love Music,” and “Use Ta Be My Girl.” Their hit “For the Love of Money” is the theme song of NBC reality series, “The Apprentice,” starring Donald Trump. So I guess they are pretty famous.

But I am talking about really BIG celebrities – they appeared on “Oprah” and “Secret Millionaire!” You know who I’m talking about — the Love Kitchen’s Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner. They may be small in stature, but they are big celebrities in Knoxville.

Helen and Ellen will be honored with the Whitney M. Young Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Equal Opportunity Awards Gala on Thursday evening. And I can’t wait to see them. I bet they will hug everyone. That’s their signature way of making everyone feel welcome. I am sure that is the secret to the success of the Love Kitchen.

The gala is the Knoxville Area Urban League’s major annual fundraiser – a very popular event every year. The entertainment is always fantastic. This year the 82-year-old twins will be honored for their achievements before a sell-out crowd.

According to Knoxville Area Urban League President and CEO Phyllis Nichols, the Whitney M. Young Lifetime Achievement Award is the charity’s highest honor and it is not given out every year. In fact, over their 43-year history, this is only the sixth time this award has ever been presented.

Helen and Ellen are truly deserving of this great honor. They are the heart and soul of the Love Kitchen, providing meals, clothing and emergency food packages to those in need in Knoxville.

At the gala, the Urban League will also present their Volunteer of the Year award to Chuck Christiansen, the Minority Business award to Lonsdale Market & Deli, and the Corporate Leadership award to Denark Construction.

It is sure to be an exciting evening filled with delicious food, some great dancing music and probably a few celebrity hugs!

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