The Secret is Out!

Saturday, May 7, 2011 Oakland City Council Member and Enrichment Council chairperson, Desley Brooks, Jazz artist, Raja Rahim, Pop sensation, Tessa Evans, and R&B singer, LB Muzac, will come together at the beautiful Kaiser Rooftop Garden for A Black Tie Affair: An Evening in the Secret Garden. The Mario B. Youth Fashion Program, business presentations, and treats from many Bay Area restaurants, precede the highlight of the evening-a special performance from Grammy-nominated artist, Chante’ Moore, and a presentation for Ogano Coffee by actor and activist, Danny Glover.

A Black Tie Affair benefits First Place for Youth, an agency that assists young adults transitioning into adulthood with support services before and after emancipation. The program supports young adults ages 18-24 with education, employment assistance, counseling, and basic necessities such as food. First Place for Youth also aids young adults with a 24-month housing program designed to promote permanency. In California 65% of Foster youth will age out of the Foster Care System at age 18, and become homeless. The benefits of California State Law AB12 extending Foster Care benefits to the age of 21, do not come to fruition until the year 2014, and this is only if the California Legislature approves the appropriate bill. The only hope to keep these youth off the street is help from us, now.

Foster Care advocacy is an issue close to the hearts of A Black Tie Affair: An Evening in the Secret Garden producers Mario Benton and Dwight Wilson. We were delighted to learn that Chante Moore and husband, singer Kenny Latimore, “also use their gifts as regular performers at the annual concert benefiting the Rowell Foster Children Positive Plan; the non-profit founded by actress Victoria Rowell.” Benton’s own program takes youth from Oakland streets, some living within the Foster Care system, and creates self-esteem where there is sometimes none. Benton meets weekly to trains kids on everything from etiquette to entrepreneurship.

Don’t miss out! Fashion, philanthropy, and fun promises to make this the event of the season! For more information on A Black Tie Affair: An Evening in the Secret Garden, please visit the website, For more information on First Place for Youth, please visit

*Photo courteousy Raymond Hagens


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