By Gregory Burrus | Posted Saturday, December 29, 2018
On Monday, December 10, 2018, Olympic medalist & Pro Boxer Shakur Stevenson, New Jersey Hall of Fame Boxing Coach Wali Moses, along with CEO Robyn Moses were the special guests at the Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life Ringside for a Cause Benefit. The purpose of the benefit event was to raise the organization's profile in additional communities outside its Newark home base, raise awareness of their mission, and garner additional support for upcoming organizational activities.
The Wilshire Grand Hotel
The event was co-hosted by CC Minton, the Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life Board President, and Gregory Burrus, Live Music Ambassador and Live Music Events Producer and Promoter. The location was the Wilshire Grand Hotel Primavera Lounge in West Orange, NJ. Primavera is a cozy, Zagat-rated Italian restaurant with a sophisticated ambiance which created a warm and relaxing atmosphere where event attendees mixed and mingled throughout the night. The staff was warm and friendly, service timely and helpful, and they should be commended.
Round 1: Mix and Mingle - Live Music - Nat Adderley, Jr. and Darryl Clark
Round 1 of the evening kicked off with a highly entertaining live music performance by bassist Darryl Clark of Darryl Clark Fusion and pianist/music director Nat Adderley Jr., who was also songwriter and arranger for 8-time GRAMMY winner Luther Vandross. Nat is a tremendous entertainer and pianist who began playing and writing music incredibly early. His first song, “I'm On My Way,” was recorded when he was just 11 by his legendary father, Nat Sr. and uncle, Cannonball Adderley. Nat Adderley, Jr. along with local dynamic bassist Darryl Clark kept us very much engaged and entertained by performing a number of memorable jazz and R&B tunes to the immense delight of the event’s attendees. We were very happy that Darryl and Nat gave some of their time and musical gifts to us.
Also during Round 1, Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life Board members Kenny Jones, Yusef Suliman and Doug Freeman spoke to the audience about the organization’s mission and its ongoing commitment to guiding young people. Yusef made it clear that, “We have to encourage our kids, get behind them and support them in their endeavors. We at Stevenson Boxing will give kids a chance to watch someone go from not knowing how to do something to knowing how to do it and give them the opportunity to compete all over the world if they choose to.”
Round 2: Main Event - Intimate Conversation with the Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life
Round 2 of the evening’s main event was an intimate conversation with Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life. This interview was excellently moderated by Stephanie Hutton, Board President of the Junior League of Montclair-Newark, Inc. The Junior League of Montclair-Newark is a supportive, amazing organization of women whose mission is to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through trained volunteers. We were very happy to have Stephanie gives us her time to help make the night’s activities a big success.
During Round 2, Stephanie’s queries gave us an opportunity to get up close and personal with the Boxing For Life leadership team. Robyn, Wali and Shakur expanded on the group’s vision, how it all came about, its importance to the community, and what’s happening now. We all gained extensive insight into the future of Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life. You can listen to some of the interview right here:
A key point from Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life CEO Robyn Moses that was apparent was her commitment to the community and belief that education is just as important as the tools that boxing provides to young people.
During the event — and literally flying in from the 2018 Elite and Youth National Championships and Junior and Prep Open held in Utah — was guest honoree Olympian and Top Rank Contracted Pro Boxer Shakur Stevenson. Having landed in Newark as the event started, Shakur arrived in time to join the Round 2 ringside conversation. Shakur clearly agreed that boxing impacted his life tremendously and supported the fact that it gave him discipline and direction, which makes him know he will never give up on any goal he chooses to pursue. The night’s activities moved on to the Q and A portion of Round 2. Many insightful questions came about, including marketing and how it can help move the mission along.
This portion of the night further highlighted how the community supported Shakur in his journey from the city of Newark to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro — or, as NJ Hall of Fame Coach Wali Moses made it clear, that “It does takes a village and that is why we use boxing as a tool to reach the kids.”
Coach Wali’s point was truly emphasized when it comes to ”it takes a village” in this article by Columnist Jim Hague of TeamUSA, where it was noted:
NEWARK, N.J. -- Thousands of Newark, New Jersey, residents took to the streets on a hot Sunday afternoon in August to welcome home one of their own, an Olympic hero no matter what took place at the recent Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
A wonderful surprise for the night was Vikas Krishan Yadav. Vikas is a boxer from the Bhiwani district in the state of Haryana in Northern India. Krishan won a Gold Medal in the 2010 Asian Games in the Lightweight category and a Gold Medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. In the 2016 Olympics, he advanced to the quarterfinal round, defeating highly touted U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell in the Round of 32. Earlier this year, he won a Commonwealth Gold and a Bronze Medal at the Asian Games, becoming the first three-time Asian Games medalist in Indian history. Recently signed to Top Rank boxing as a pro, he is going to train with Coach Wali Moses in Newark, N.J., and with the Indian National Team in Punjab, India.
Round 3: Networking, Photo Opportunities and Supporters
Round 3 of the evening concluded with networking, a drawing of 50-50 winners, and lots of photo opportunities. It should also be said that the event’s success happened due to some notable attendees, sponsors, and supporters in attendance who gave us their time, expertise and presence.
Sponsors that joined us were Newark’s Playwright and Vocalist Joy Topping Mann of Ife Basim Masterpieces, event artist who captured it live – Kingdom Art, Jazz vocalist Patricia Walton, event welcome hostess and Round Announcements by Chelsea Burrus, video and technical support by Greg2B, and our professional photographer Maria Baptiste of Maria B Photography.
Supporters noted at the event were Michael Gray, Founder of Save our Nations and Chief of Staff for Congressman Donald Payne, L-Mani S. Viney, Executive Director of the Kappa League, and Professional Boxer Wali Muhammad.
Attendees that we were very happy to see in the audience were large-scale mural artist Elijah Minton, known as “The Art Alchemist,” and Celeste Bateman of Celeste Bateman & Associates and Founder of The Nia Network, and Norman Mann of the band "Rafiki.
You can review all of the “Ringside For A Cause: Stevenson Moses Boxing For Life” action at https://www.gregoryburrusaroundtown.com/Gregory-Burrus-Productions-Artist/CC-Minton/Stevenson-Moses-Boxing-For-Life-Ringside-For-a-Cause/
About Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life
According to their website:
Stevenson and Moses Boxing For Life is the vision of Willie and Robyn Moses, along with their grandson 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in Boxing Shakur Stevenson […] Stevenson & Moses Boxing For Life is an organization committed to using boxing as a tool to teach camaraderie among peers in the community. The organization teaches Olympic style boxing to open the possibility of being a contender for the Olympics for Boxing. We provide training for athletes to build endurance and perseverance for the sport of their choice. Our goal is to offer boxing as a deterrent to gun violence by building character and responsibility for the community in which participants live. Stevenson and Moses Boxing For Life is a viable force in the community.
About the Author Gregory Burrus and Co-Host CC Minton
CC Minton, as President of the Board at Stevenson Moses Boxing for Life, provides strategic leadership to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans, and policies. She is a President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition Community Leadership Award recipient and also works with adults, children, and communities, empowering them to embrace healthy living. Her various projects include working with the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama, Whole Foods Market, NY/NJ Super Bowl organization, Apollo Theater, Olympic Day Committee, and Harlem World Magazine. She has spent her time honing her skills as a brand ambassador, fundraiser, and fitness instructor.
Gregory Burrus is a local live music ambassador, event developer and community partner that develops, manages, promotes and documents local community events in the Greater New Jersey and New York area. Gregory Burrus sits on a number of local boards, committees and serves as a Board Member of Maplewood Community Music and curates and promotes live music events all over Essex County along with booking bands at many other local venues. For more information, visit http://gregoyburrus.me.