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Chamber Celebrates Black History with Living Legends

March 2014


Eric Adams, Suzanne De Paris, Mark Jaffe, Dr. Gerald Deas, Cheryl Wills, Irving "Lord Burgess", Melba Moore, Barbara Askins, Bill McCreary & Frank Savage: Photo by Alexis Williams/What's The 411 Networks

The Greater NY Chamber hosted its annual Bill McCreary Living Legends Awards to celebrate Black History Month on 2/27/14. The standing room only event was graciously sponsored by Healthfirst, New York RX Card and T Mobile.

The event was emceed by Chamber CEO Mark Jaffe, NY 1 Anchor Cheryl Wills and the legendary Bill McCreary. To kick it off Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams spoke to the 200 plus attendees that were there to honor Black History and hear great stories from the Living Legends that were in attendance. First Tony Award Winner George Faison helped us honor another Tony Winner; Garth Fagan who choreographed the Lion king and now teaches dance in Rochester, NY.

Than Cheryl Wills; a nationally recognized award winning journalist for NY 1 News introduced Melba Moore; a grammy nominated legend who sang an inspirational rendition of LIFT EVERY VOICE & SING; the Black National Anthem. Cheryl is also the author of the acclaimed book Die Free: A Heroic Family Tale; and a blogger for the Huffington Post.

We also honored Living Legends: Barbara Askins CEO of the 125th Street B.I.D. which has received local, national & international recognition for improving the Central Harlem business climate & quality of life. She is an adjunct professor of Urban Tourism at NYU and recently launched her own consulting firm “Urbace” to help improve public-private partnerships; Irving “Lord Burgess” Burgie Brooklyn born & Julliard educated award winning song writer who sold over 100 million records. He served In World War II and is best known for writing the legendary Calypso hit song "Day-O" . He composed dozens of songs for Harry Belafonte including the majority of Calypso, the 1st album to sell over 1 million copies; Dr. Gerald Deas M.D., a legendary public health crusader best known for advocacy that resulted in FDA labeling Argo Starch as a Non Food Product. He served in the Army before enrolling in SUNY Downstate Medical where he is still affiliated. He was the first black medical columnist for the Bill McCreary Report

The Living Legends Awards were named after Bill McCreary; an Emmy Award winning journalist and former vice-president of Fox Television. He was one of the first African Americans to be given his own T.V. show which he produced and anchored. He has won many awards and is currently an honorary director of the Greater NY Chamber.