Now that fall is definitely in the air, I’ve decided that it’s not too early to get started with watching a little football. Feeling hyped that the Jets had just beat the New England Patriots on the previous evening, I settled in to watch the Minnesota Vikings versus, the New York Giants on Monday night.

For as much as I could keep my eyes open, it was a good game. The announcers were dogging Eli Manning while raving about the newcomer, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman. He’s young, fresh and throws the ball high. He’s got some work to do in terms of throwing the ball directly to the player he’s aiming to throw it to, but other than that, he will definitely become MVP material.

The Brooklyn Chapter of the Links Inc. celebrated their 60th anniversary with dinner and a dance at Terrace on the Park. The afternoon event is always such a lovely affair, with views from the terrace windows showcasing a wide, gorgeous vista.

The Links was first established in 1946 by a group of women of color who wanted to do something to enrich the lives of African-Americans and other persons of African ancestry. As part of a nationwide organization consisting of 12,000 professional women across the United States, District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, the Brooklyn Chapter was established in 1952. Since that time, the Brooklyn Chapter has created a legacy of their own.

Amongst their various endeavors is the Salute to Youth Inc., established in 1960. According to the mission statement, Salute to Youth aims to “promote academic excellence and create opportunities for college-bound students who are academically or artistically gifted.” Over the course of 40 years, since its inception in 1960, over $500,000 in scholarships has been awarded to over 600 students. Salute to Youth is the benefactor of the biennial dinner dance.

The chairpersons of the dinner dance were Evelyn Castro D’Arceuil, who also serves as first vice president, and Clotilde Guinier Stenson. The presiding president is Judge Cheryl E. Chambers. Other officers are Portia Gordon Ketosugbo, second vice president; Karen Abel-Bey, Esq., corresponding secretary; Theresa Tyson Manning, recording secretary; Tracy Cook-Person, assistant recording secretary; Eva Delsarte, treasurer; and Melissa Bonaldes, Esq., financial secretary. The Salute to Youth chair is Mari-Lynn Staton, Esq.; Evelyn Kalibala is vice chair; Cheryl Lewis-Smith is recording secretary; Sharon Myrie, Esq., is financial secretary; and Antoinette Lamb is treasurer.

The invitation to this year’s dinner dance included a lovely photo featuring the members, all dressed in white, looking lovely, committed and happy. The members, including alumnae, are Delrita Abercrombie, Doris Alexis, Nikki Bethel-Grant, Bobbye Butts, Dr. Sydney Butts, Gay Bullock, Jacqueline Charity, Jocelyn Cooper, Pamela DeLongoria, Marguerita Fletcher, Kitrena DuBose Foster, Terri Foster, Muriel Goode-Trufant, Esq., L. Celestine Grimes, Dr. Leslie Hayes, Ola Hightower, Frances Jacqueline Horne, Aarona McRae Jordan, Damli Kalibala, Jean Leach, Rubie Malone, Cassaundra Manning, Esq., Depelsha Thomas McGruder, Dorothy Nelson, Monique Nelson Nwachuku, Merriette Pollard, Yvonne Carroll Presha, Patricia Ramseur, Marilyn Reid, Sharon Simmons, Gwendolyn Simpson, Stephanie Smith, Katherine Solomon, Dr. Monica Sweeney, Nola Whiteman and Antonia Yuille Williams.

Speaking of Simmons, she is still whirling from her son Hank Simmons’ wedding to Candice Cook. It’s amazing how Sharon Simmons, who’s from Sag Harbor and Brooklyn, N.Y., where she has an art gallery bearing her name, can go from one event to the next and teach her class at Brooklyn College. Whatever vitamins she takes, I want some too.

Condolences to the families of Curtis Jones and Stephanie De La Russo, mother of Pompei, who also recently passed away. De La Russo is the cousin of former New York City Deputy Police Commissioner Wilhemenia Holliday-Hayes and sister of Gabriella Styler. Happy birthday to Dr. Johnnie L. Williams, Neil Forman, Theresa Layne, Denise Qualles, Derrick Singleton and Charles Leonard Mitchell, Esq.

The Sylvia & Herbert Woods Endowment Scholarship Fund gala to commemorate its 12th anniversary was held at Riverside Church in the South Ballroom, and even though it was cold outside, it was very warm in spirit inside. Sylvia Woods, who showed her love to all those who entered her world-famous restaurant, still located in Harlem on Lenox Avenue at 127th Street, was committed to the education of our youth. Honoring her late husband, Herbert Woods, Sylvia Woods started the scholarship fund in 2002, and since then, it has raised over $250,000, which has been awarded to over 80 students. This year, eight students were recognized for their academic achievements. Receiving scholarships were college-bound students Lilibeth Herrera (SUNY Canton), Brayan Medera (City College), Samantha Santos (Lehman College), Dayna Dacon (St. John’s University), Aly Kaba, (University of Bridgeport), Aaron Martindale (Hostos Community College), Kimberly Koop (Long Island University) and Fatoumata Seck (Bronx Community College). Also recognized for their commitment to promoting viable career opportunities and supporting excellence in education were Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, and Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant, located at 114th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Tony Award-nominated actor, director and choreographer Maurice Hines served as the evening’s host, while the Woods children—Van, Bedelia, Kenneth and Crizette—glowed throughout the evening. All proceeds from the gala will go toward the scholarship fund. Honorable mention went to the “angels,” Dr. Joseph Feldman, chairman of the Emergency Trauma Department at Hackensack University Medical Center, and Lew Zuchman, executive eirector of the Supportive Children’s Advocacy Network.

The West 118th Street Block Association is raising money and having fun, as their annual Christmas event on Dec. 14 is just around the corner. All are welcome to join them on their bus ride on Nov. 9 to the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pa. Cost is $35, with a rebate of $20 for lunch and $5 for the slots. If the casino isn’t your thing, then I’m sure the shopping outlets located right on the premises will drive you just as wild. Contact Cleve at 917-543-5930 for ticket information.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross,” a six-week series featured on PBS on Tuesdays, began on Oct. 22 and will run through Nov. 26 from 8-9 p.m. Narrated by professor Henry Louis Gates, the series is compelling. Be sure to tune in.

Happy Halloween!

Until next week … kisses