New York CitiWorks Inc. (NYCW) held its 12th annual holiday party at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem. NYCW officers include Preston King, chairman; Rodney Gittens, president; and board members Verinia Taylor, Fran McGee, Rodger Van Vlissingin and Peter Roth.
The event was co-sponsored by the Bing Han Ginseng Corp., the Harlem Renaissance Road Race and the Dwyer Cultural Center. The guest speaker for the evening was Carlo Launier, a traditional Chinese medical practitioner whose speech highlighted the famous Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yuen, who purportedly lived until the age of 256 years and died in the year 1933. Li Ching-Yuen’s favorite herb was the six-year Panax ginseng in its purest form. His story was documented in the New York Times on May 6, 1933.
Music was provided by Dakota MacLeod and the Rhythm & Soul of New York Band. There was a special guest performance by Robert Kenyatta of Philadelphia on conga drums.
Persons in attendance were Salem UM Church Minister Gary Byrd, Joan Stone, Pat Stone and Karen Stone, along with Sonia Mendez of the NAACP and Howard Teich of New Democratic Dimensions. A special candlelight ceremony was organized by Noman Chu in honor of the 20 schoolchildren and six adults who recently died in Connecticut. A silent prayer was led by Minister Rodney Gittens. Twenty-six candles were lit and kept burning throughout the evening in their memory. Ceremonial Chinese music was played during the moment of silence.