GALLERY: 2012 Agents Of Hope Benefit Fashion & Cultural Show

GALLERY: 2012 Agents Of Hope Benefit Fashion & Cultural Show

The elegant evening of fashion, arts and culture featuring Vogue Afrik and a host of other fashion designers concluded with major success on Friday August 17th, 2012 at The Silver Garden in Southfield, Michigan. The evening started on time at 6:30 PM with a red-carpet reception and networking session with interviews and photography. Living art statues by Rozenia Johnson (MDUBA Associates) and Simbala Desilles decorated the reception area. Agents of Hope partner vendors were also present including Joi Taylor of Joi Jewelry, Edythe Ford of Walker Miller Energy Services, LLC, Folasade Egbedoyin of DavFolFun Quilts and Pillows, Victoria Wiley of Organo Gold, Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy, and Ola Salako of AVON Products.

Promptly 7:15 PM, the main doors to the Mystic Ballroom were opened for guest admittance. The show started with Ezekiel Hosu and his talking drum from West Africa. His drum spoke of a befitting welcome and it announced the coming of the Hope Warrior King. Right on cue, Shola Salako, founder of Agents of Hope, entered the stage, captivating the audience with a warrior costume and gold body adornment painting by Rozenia Johnson. Ezekiel drummed around him and then exited the stage as Mr. Salako greeted the audience with a welcome speech. He spoke about Hope and about awakening the great power of hope within all of us. He explained that by helping others, we are actually helping ourselves.

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The event host, Eva Toby, was introduced by announcer Von Jour Reece and the show officially begun. She started by thanking Agents of Hope sponsors and partners including Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy , Dr. Dolapo Shodipo of State Farm Insurance, Kene Monplaisir of My Solutions Diabetes and Wellness Center and Edythe Ford of Walker Miller Energy Services, LLC who presented a wonderful plan to help save energy while supporting the Agents of Hope charity. Ten dollars will be donated to Agents of Hope for every guest that registers for an energy home inspection. Next, the keynote speaker and honorable Mayor of the City of Southfield, Brenda Lawrence, delivered a powerful speech on the power of hope.

After a brief intermission for food and drinks, Dr. Olubunmi Ayo-Vaughan from Lagos, Nigeria continued the benefit show with a very touching introduction to the Agents of Hope Charity Drive video from July 31, 2012. She described the desperate and hopeless situations of very innocent children. She choked back on tears as she spoke about a new born baby girl (later named Destiny) that was abandoned in a filthy sewer in Lagos. Mosquitoes and other insects had fed on her scalp for several days before she was found and taken to Dr. Ayo-Vaughan’s hospital. She concluded with a powerful rendition of Maya Angelou’s poem, Alone.

FOX2 Detroit News Sneak Peak (air date August 10th, 2012):

To open the fashion show portion, the dance performing group, The Red Pumps (Erika Stowall, Laressa Batson and Lydia Porter) gave a sizzling dance performance in their signature red pump shoes to “Chop My Money” (P Square featuring Akon and May D.). The entire routine excited the audience as The Red Pumps did its mesmerizing number. The fashion show commentator, Ms. Vinetta Lloyd, was introduced and the Vogue Afrik fashion clothing (event sponsor) was displayed by fabulous models. All jewelry accessory complements were displayed by Classical Beads. It was indeed a unique experience watching the theatrics of the king, queen and gracious royal attendants bringing to life a rich African cultural heritage. This finale held the entire attention of the viewers.

To close the show, Hope Alive, a musical group dedicated to spreading the power of hope delivered its strong musical message to the world. Detroit-based saxophonist, Adeboye Adegbenro, was featured delivering an awesome sax solo. Singers included Augustine Agwegwe, Isioma Agwegwe and rappers Marx Ojemudia and Olanre Adewole. Agents of Hope founder, Shola Salako, and event sponsor Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy thanked all guests and participants, and the show adjorned to the after-party. The Invincible DJ Ayoo entertained everyone in this rare annual party. It was indeed a show never-to-be-forgotten in the minds of many.