Stars SHiNE their light for a charitable cause

By Lauren Mineo
February 27, 2003

Courtesy ofJim Graham

Amidst the celebrities, this evening’s stars shone brightly. Hundreds turned out to the SHiNE (Seeking Harmony in Neighborhoods Everyday) charity benefit to honor three businessmen’s commitments to supporting and helping to cultivate a youth forum for diversity and cultural issues.

The first recipient of a SHiNE award was Wayne Snyder, chairman and CEO of Kravco Company Malls. His support in the SHiNE Network Club Program and the Peace Talks, Violence Walks program, resulting from the Columbine tragedy, earned him the “Corporate Supporter of the Year” award.

Also, showing her support for SHiNE by co-hosting the event with MTV VJ Quddus, was Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child. “It’s time for everybody to get with the youth, not just building facilities, but actually getting people in there to talk to kids and be positive influences,” Rolland said.

Brian Graden, president of MTV and VH1 Entertainment, received the “Corporate Humanitarian of the Year” award for his involvement in MTV’s “Fight For Your Rights: Protect Yourself.” Designer Todd Oldham, who presented the award to Graden, commented, “SHiNE utilizes malls and the wonderful generosity of these people to give kids the opportunity to speak to each other, to resolve issues and to express how they’re feeling. It’s a great opportunity.”

Performances from the five-time 2003 Grammy Nominated female duo, Floetry, and members of the show, “Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam on Broadway,” were laced between various videos, presenters and famous personalities such as recording artist, Foxy Brown, and Nick Cannon, recently starring in “Drumline.”

Closing out the evening was the award for “Visionary of the Year” presented to Russell Simmons, founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and chairman and CEO of Rush Communications. His effort, along with SHiNE, was to reach disadvantaged urban youth by enlightening them to various aspects of the arts.

Co-host Quddus said, “It’s refreshing to see that companies and corporations are taking interest because you normally think of corporations as being kind of heartless. This is a really encouraging night.”

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Lauren Mineo

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