A host of celebrities and entertainers attended the Apollo Theater’s 12th Annual Spring Gala Monday night.
Director and producer Stan Lathan and the Verizon Foundation were honored at this year’s event.
The benefit concert was hosted by actor and comedian Cedric the Entertainer and featured performances by CeeLo Green, Sheila E., Charlie Wilson, Trombone Shorty and Wé McDonald, who started her career winning Amateur Night at the Apollo and continued on to NBC’s “The Voice.”
Apollo legend and musician Ray Chew served as music director for the evening.
The event raised a total of $2.1 million. Proceeds from the celebration will support the nonprofit organization’s year-round, artistic, education and community programming.
“Since its inception, the Apollo Theater has been home to legendary and up-and-coming artists alike, serving as an ever-changing, driving force in popular music and culture, not only in Harlem but across the world,” said Jonelle Procope, president and CEO of the Apollo Theater.
Lathan received the Trailblazer Award. A Peabody Award-winning director and producer, Lathan has credits that include television sitcoms “Amen,” “The Bernie Mac Show” and “Sanford and Son” along with HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and Dave Chappelle’s recent comedy special, “Deep in the Heart of Texas.”
“If there’s anyone who deserves to be honored as a trailblazer, it’s Stan Lathan, and if there is any venue perfectly suited to showcase a great benefit concert, it’s the Apollo Theater. I’m truly privileged to host this night celebrating the Apollo and Stan,” said Cedric the Entertainer. “Regarding Stan, he really knows comedy, and he has produced and directed some of the most prolific comedians of all time across many iconic television shows.”
Verizon Foundation’s Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer and President Rose Kirk accepted the Corporate Award on behalf of the wireless company.
“Fueling tomorrow’s tech innovators while leveling the playing field for minority and under served students is not only a priority for Verizon, it is our responsibility,” she said. “We are honored to be recognized by the Apollo Theater for the work we are doing to provide free technology, access and hands-on learning to students in need across America.”
This year’s gala chairs include Robert K. Kraft, Laura and Richard D. Parsons, Ronald O. Perelman, Anna Chapman and Karen and Charles Phillips. Vice chairs include 21st Century Fox, Katherine Farley, Jerry I. Speyer and Christine Taylor.
Following the concert revelers were treated to an after party at a special tent in the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building Plaza. Celebrity guests included Bevy Smith, E.J. Johnson, journalist Tamron Hall, Geneva Thomas and Savion Glover