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Fairfield County Chapter of The Links Inc. honors Patti LaBelle, and awards funding to two community organizations.
PICTURED, LEFT TO RIGHT, Carole Hall, Member, Fairfield County Chapter, The Links Inc and Gala Co-Chair, Deborah Elam, President, Fairfield County Chapter, The Links, Inc., Valarie Shultz-Wilson, President & CEO, Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut, Beneficiary, Miss Patti LaBelle, Novelette Peterkin Campbell, Executive Director, The George Washington Carver Community Center, beneficiary, Tonya Redding Dennis, Member, Fairfield County Chapter, The Links Inc and Gala Co-Chair

The Fairfield County Chapter of The Links Incorporated hosted the gala event of their health education and awareness campaign, “Your Link to Health,� with a sold out benefit at the Greenwich Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday, November 11th.  The Links honored the incomparable, soulful Rhythm and Blues legend, Ms. Patti LaBelle and awarded proceeds from the Gala to two local service organizations, the Southwestern Connecticut Urban League based in Stamford, Connecticut, and the Carver Center located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Ms. LaBelle wowed the crowd of over 600 by speaking of her personal challenges, her 45-year musical career, her appreciation for health and wellness, and her sincere appreciation for being honored by the Links.  She delighted the crowd with a spontaneous and glorious rendition of her hit song If Only You Knew along with a spectacular duet with Valeria Adams of the Dimension Band from Old Bridge, New Jersey.

“The opportunity to honor Ms. LaBelle was thrilling,� stated gala co-chairs Tonya Redding- Dennis and Carole Hall. “We especially wanted to highlight her outstanding accomplishments in health advocacy.  The fact that she honored us with her presence and talents made the event magnificent.� 

In her remarks to the audience Links Chapter President, Deborah Elam, commented on the Links focus on service to the community:  “Our focus in Fairfield County has been on serving our youth through education, cultural enrichment, civic involvement, international awareness and health & wellness. We have supported local organizations like the Yerwood Center, The Hord Foundation, The Bridgeport Boys Choir, The Malta House & Hal Jackson Talented Teens just to name a few. Our support is not only financial but also in terms of personal time spent as we chalk up, on average over 1,500 community service hours each year.�

Ms. Elam referenced the Fairfield County Links Chapter’s focus on health initiatives, through their Your Link to Health campaign which aims to stem the increasing rates of disease and disability facing minority families. “In the 30 years we have been serving the Fairfield County community, we have never launched an awareness campaign of this magnitude.  The need is tremendous.  This commitment has been well received by the corporate community as well. Platinum level Gala Sponsors GE and UBS embrace the need to drive education and awareness in this area.  Other lead sponsors included Johnson & Johnson, Aetna, GenNx360 Capital Partners, Guggenheim Advisors, Palladium Equity Partners and Pitney Bowes� stated Ms. Elam. The complete list of major supporters also included Apollo Management, ArcLight Capital Holdings, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Madstone Co., New Mountain Capital, Stamford Hospital, Straus Asset Management, and Utendahl Capital.

The event raised over $200,000.00. In addition to funding the Links community service programs, proceeds from The Crystal Ball Honoring Patti LaBelle went to support the Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut and the George Washington Carver Center of Norwalk. Both organizations received a $15,000 check during the evening’s festivities.

To successfully change health outcomes for African Americans and minorities requires involvement from everyone.  Patti LaBelle has generously given of her time and talents to be the voice of diabetes and overall awareness of healthier living. As leaders in our community, we will continue to follow her role model and work with others to put life-saving tools and information in the hands of African Americans and minorities through “Your Link to Health�.

The Links, Incorporated is a not-for-profit organization of more than 10,000 women of color, committed to enhancing the quality of life in our communities.  The Fairfield County Chapter has a goal to raise awareness and provide resources to reduce health disparities facing minority families in Fairfield County.

For questions, or further information, please call Cecilia Carter (203) 253-7798

To subscribe to or advertise in New York’s leading Pan African weekly investigative newspaper, please call (212) 481-7745 or send a note to
“Speaking Truth To Empower.�

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