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Bmore Social: Associated Black Charities Gala

A visual recap of the annual gala, which took on a "Let's Stay Together" theme this year.
By Sloane Brown

Associated Black Charities Gala: Let’s Stay Together
June 8, 2024
6–11 p.m.
The Hall at Live! Casino

The theme of the 2024 Associated Black Charities Gala, “Let’s Stay Together,” was perfectly reflected by the event itself. The gala not only attracted more sponsors and partners than in previous years—23 of which were new to the event—but it brought together representatives from a number of local racial equity organizations, who were amongst the 725 glamorously attired guests. Attendees had the chance to get together and mingle during a VIP reception and cocktail hour before sitting down for dinner. The evening also featured a concert by saxophonist Ashley Keiko and singer Maysa.

Left to right: Lenora Henry, American Red Cross Central Maryland Chapter executive director; Lorenzo M. Bellamy, Bellamy Genn managing partner; Larry Maybin, American Red Cross Central Maryland Chapter regional philanthropy officer; Mia Blom, Visit Baltimore senior director of government and community affairs; Rev. Kobi Little, NAACP Maryland State Conference president/event honoree
Left to right: Dr. Terris King, Liberty Grace Church of God pastor; Catherine King, retired Howard county govrnment employee; Angela McFadden, PNC Bank administrator; Rev. Marvin McFadden, Mt. Zion Hill Baptist Church pastor
Left to right: Chris Duncan, Exelon director of federal affairs; Tanya Terrell, BGE director of community impact; Robert Matthews, Exelon vice president of talent and chief DEI officer; Chrissy Thornton, Associated Black Charities president/CEO
Left to right: Adrian Harpool, Adrian Harpool Associates principal; Al Essien, University of Maryland Baltimore corporate and foundations director
Left to right: Steve Sharkey, Baltimore City deputy director of innovation; Melissa Bresnahan, University of Maryland Baltimore associate director of corporate and foundation relations
Left to right: Jasmin Watson-El, Officially Jazzed Communications founder/CEO; Cimmon Byrd, Anne Arundel County Schools occupational therapist; Laura Phillips Byrd, educator; Tawana Bhagwat, Organization At Its Best CEO; Kimberly Robinson, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield vice president of state government affairs
Left to right: Aliah Faulkner, TrueCombo Salon and Beauty Bar owner; Monzy Faulkner, All In His Hands Barbershop owner; Leslie Torain, stay-at-home mom/entrepreneur; Tony Torain II, Polsinelli DC partner/Associated Black Charities board chair
Left to right: Vernon Holley, Philips Healthcare technical consultant; Saana Holley, Need HR Partner CEO; Karen Jennings, HR Work Well founder/Well 360 co-founder; Sid Henson, Stone Wellness founder/Well 360 co-founder
Briauna Vinniane (left), the party’s Champagne server, and Brenda Johnson (right), Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab IT business service manager/business analyst, compare fans—a party accessory that neither is ever without.
Especially in a large metal “hoop skirt” full of Champagne flutes, Vinniane says having a fan on hand is a must.
Johnson, who’s also a part of the ABC Board to Pipeline cohort, says she always brings a fan to events—particularly one that matches her oufit.
“In my bag, I have ballet flats, a pashmina, and a fan, because  inevitably your feet will end up hurting, it’ll be hot or cold,” she said, “but you have to keep the party going.”
Left to right: Jeanell Boomer, stay-at-home mom; Allan Boomer, Momentum Advisors chief investment officer; Shelonda Stokes, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore president