Spotlight on Fort Wayne Urban League Gala 2016

| November 3, 2016
Jeanie Summerville

Jeanie Summerville

By Jeanie Summerville

What’s up, babies?

It pleases me to say, it’s that time of year again for us to get together and celebrate life, love, fun and excitement at the Urban League’s Gala Extravaganza scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12.  This gala will honor four well deserving people for their contribution to mankind in our city while having fun in the process, so let’s just enjoy:

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers.  My name is Jonathan C. Ray, M.S.W., and I’m the president/CEO of Fort Wayne Urban League that’s located at 2135 Hanna St.  I’ve been in this position for the past 11 years and I really enjoy what I do because I always wanted to be in a position to impact kids because of the relationship with my mother Mary Ray. And, I always thought the Urban League has a longstanding history with empowering people.

Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray


“The Fort Wayne Urban League is a catalyst for positive change in the quality of life for vulnerable people in the greater Fort Wayne community. The League operates an interracial organization seeking to increase the level of inclusion and enhance the quality of life for all residents by providing effective community advocacy, leadership and youth development. The Fort Wayne Urban League exists to ensure economic self-sufficiency of its community members by providing quality services and programs that will enhance race relations, maximize employment and promote educational attainment. The Fort Wayne Urban League is a trusted community friend and we implore you to join us in supporting the League.

“And, this gala is our opportunity to honor people who are significant, in terms of Fort Wayne and making a difference with their presence.  For example, Wil Smith has done probably more than anybody has, as it relates to diversifying employment in high places and if he wasn’t a part of it, a lot of very good jobs would not have been available to African Americans.  So he’s been a key and, a very important figure in all of that and, the reason all of the Lions were selected is because they offer services to the community to a degree that without their presence we would really be operating in a different way.

“This year’s Gala Extravaganza 2016 event will take place on Nov. 12, at 50 p.m., and we’ll begin with a special VIP Reception exclusive to corporate sponsors and community partners. In addition, we will pay homage by honoring this year’s “Lions”: Chuck Surack, Wil Smith, Judge Davis and Dee McKinley, spotlighting their immense community contributions and accolades.

“For your listening and dancing entertainment, we have the featured musical guests INFLUX, who is this year’s top local R&B band that was rated #1 by Whatz Up Magazine and they’ll perform old school, new school and their school music which are original songs.  We’re trying to appeal to everybody and it should be a fun night in terms of a celebration gala.  Every year, we certainly celebrate, what the Urban League has done over the last year but we really, really want people to have fun.  So it’s an elegant evening and we do our very best to ensure that people have a good time and I think this could be our very best one.  I know the band is good and they’re going to put on a show and people will have a good time.”

Now in closing I say, great job, Jonathan, and to our readers, I hope to see you there.  So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie.  Bye, bye babies.

P.S. If you’d like the Spotlight shined upon you or someone you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to  I’d love to hear from you.

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Category: Civil Rights, Community, Economics, Events, Local

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