Last lap of summer
Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 8/2/2012, 4:38 p.m.
Here we are, now that August has arrived, at the last lap of summer. This is the time when, if you're going out of the city for vacation, you go now or at the very least get away for a weekend trip. That is exactly what the Mitchells did last weekend, as we headed down to the Jersey Shore for what could only be described as the quickest of quickies.
Visiting friends Carol Chaoui and Toni and Pam James, we were lucky enough to go to Ocean City and sit on the beach between the raindrops, which came down in torrential buckets. Dinner at the James' was delicious. Toni threw some wings on the grill and charred them to perfection. Along with a couple of ears of Jersey corn, which alone makes the trip to Jersey worthwhile, blueberry peach pie for dessert and endless bottles of Chandon, who cared if it was pouring rain outside? It added to the ambiance.
Folks up on the Vineyard were treated to a reading by Charlayne Hunter-Gault from her new book, "To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement," at an event benefiting Island Elderly Housing. The book, which chronicles the pivotal years of the Civil Rights Movement from 1959 to 1965, is written specifically for a younger audience. Hunter-Gault said the purpose of the book "is to help educate students on the courage, patience, determination and sacrifices it took from many young people collectively in order to challenge the status quo and government rulings at the time."
Fast-forward to this day and time, and Hunter-Gault reaffirmed, "I want to help young people know where they came from...to know the courage that it took, the reasons students did what they did, the reasons they were willing to make sacrifices, and that in order to keep democracy true to its promise, you have to stay vigilant."
Hunter-Gault fondly admits that as a youngster, she fell in love with the comic strip figure Brenda Starr, who remained her inspiration from her senior year in high school to her first job out of college as a New Yorker reporter.
Out on the East End, Sag Harbor is gearing up for yet another spectacular season. Harlem in the Hamptons is preparing to make its annual imprint with a variety of activities, while over in East Hampton, the Apollo in the Hamptons benefit is an extravaganza of such magnitude that it's practically untouchable--as in no individual tickets are being sold, only tables.
Russell Simmons, on the other hand, continues to give power to the people as the mogul/philanthropist hosted his 13th annual Art for Life fundraising gala at his estate. Singer Mariah Carey and her husband, Nick Cannon, were the guests of honor, and the event was hosted by CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
Joining in the fun were celebrities like Grant Hill and wife Tamia, Kevin Liles, Anita Baker, Rocsi Diaz and others just too philanthropic to mention. Art for Life is co-sponsored by Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Russell, Danny and Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons as a nonprofit organization dedicated to "providing inner-city youth with significant arts exposure and access to the arts."