On December 5, 2015, more than 150 taste makers, entrepreneurs, socialites and prominent community leaders gathered together for the 7th Annual Red Pump/Red Tie Affair to commemorate World AIDS Day with The Red Pump Project in Charlotte, NC. Guests traveled in from New York City, DC, Virginia, Texas, Georgia and all over the Carolinas to attend the awards ceremony and fashion show to benefit Red Pump. The event took place at UNC Charlotte Center City in Uptown Charlotte from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.
The evening began at 7 p.m. with an elegant cocktail reception sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly and Olde Mecklenburg Brewery. Guests enjoyed libations and heavy hors d’oeuvres while they shopped the silent auction, were entertained by vocalist Eliah and interacted in the social media lounge (hosted by actor and runway model Mike Press and was sponsored by Captured By Kevin, Suite 929.tv, National Council of 100 Black Women, Interior Motives by Will Smith and JSW Media Group).
Notable guests in attendance included newly elected Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, philanthropists Herb and Felicia Gray, Rev. Debbie Warren of Regional AIDS Interfaith Network and Yasten Burton who is the reigning Miss Black North Carolina US Ambassador 2016.
Co-hosts and media personalities Edward “Special Ed” Archer (Hip Hop icon) and Kendra James (Oxygen Network) kept everything energetic once guests were seated and the show began around 8:30 p.m. A musical selection from independent artist Keeyen Martin kicked off the show beautifully.
One of the most important highlights of the evening was the awards ceremony when 2015 honoree Hannah Stutts was given the Red Pump Award for being an outstanding community leader paving the way for HIV/AIDS awareness and education. Stutts is a Community-based Testing Grant Coordinator with the Mecklenburg County Health Department, founder of The Voices Project (in association with Regional AIDS Interfaith Network) and co-chair for AIDS Walk Charlotte (2013 and 2014). Stutts is an incredible advocate for HIV/AIDS education, and we were pleased to honor her work. The touching award ceremony was preceded by a surprise spoken word performance by three time Emmy®-award winning artist Boris “Bluz” Rogers. Bluz wrote and performed an original poem dedicated to Stutts.
The event concluded with an “Awareness is Power” runway show presented by Carolina STYLE Magazine featuring the collections of emerging designer Lisa Wright of DaniLi Apparel, Equalnox Clothing Co. and T’ Shanell Designs. Kyle Alexander Murray served as the show’s fashion director; Michelle Dianne orchestrated the elaborate beauty looks and hair stylist extraordinaire Rashawn Haskell rounded out the expert glam squad.
The 7th Annual Red Pump/Red Tie Affair was sponsored by JSW Media Group, BAREFOOT Wine and Bubbly, James Lester, Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, National Coalition of 100 Black Women (Queen City Metropolitan Chapter), Signature Event Bags, Carolina STYLE Magazine, dupp&swat Creative Studio, Media Arts Collective, CapturedByKevin.com, Suite929.tv, Accenture, Interior Motives by Will Smith, and Ben Clark Designs. Special thanks for our 2015 Red Pump/Red Tie event host committee members Brie Wright, Melody Gross, Keith Cradle, Jarvis Holliday, Nepherterra Estrada Best, Carlos Davis, Cheryl “Chirl Girl” Patterson, and Jon Strayhorn.
The event planning team led by Ambassador Coordinator Brittani Menina and Charlotte Ambassador Jameka Whitten did an amazing job. Kudos to the members of JSW Media Group and our host of spectacular volunteers who made this event a success for the seventh year in a row!
To view photos: 7th Annual Red Pump/Red Tie Affair on Facebook.