06/09/2010 11:49 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Soulful Sunday Symphony

On Sunday, June 27, the N'DIGO Foundation hosts its 15th Annual Gala at Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center.

I am proud to say that our event is a multi-cultural and multi-generational affair and has become one of Chicago's most significant social and civic occasions, because this is our commitment to showcase the best of our community.

We will pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions, and we will recognize youth--chosen by the Chicago-area religious community--as they begin their college careers by providing them scholarships.

And this is a must-see: We will have a classic performance from Fantasia for all to enjoy.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with an award program, and the concert performance starts at 7:30 p.m.; join us for spirits and dessert at the after party that begins at 9 p.m. The electric Garrard McClendon of CLTV joins me as co-host for the evening.

Sunday Soul at the Symphony Center

The Gala's concert performance this year is quite special. The beautiful voice of Fantasia will grace us in a unique show -- a soulful Sunday celebration of classical music.
This will be a delightful program and in itself is worth the price of admission.

Gala Awards
We are proud of our 2010 honorees:

Pam Morris has a love for Gospel music. For the past 20 years she has coordinated the city's Gospel Fest making it a marvelous acclaimed success and one of the best festivals of its kind in the country.

  • Chuck Smith
is the resident director at The Goodman Theatre. We have watched his career blossom from Harold Washington College to The Goodman, as he has produced stellar plays.

Dr. Terry Mason is superb in his practice and has moved to share his medical knowledge from private practice to public. He served as the Commissioner of Chicago's Health Department and today is the Chief Medical Officer for Cook County.

Tracy Schmidt represents new media. She is the editorial director of Chicago Now, an online blog representing the variety, diversity and spice of Chicago. It is the new direction for media and she is a whiz kid.

Tim King is the executive director of Chicago Prep. He is a brilliant educator. He is a transforming educator. The first graduating class of young Black men from Urban Prep are all on their way to college. He deserves salute as he has received national attention.

Ed Gardner has been a model entrepreneur. He founded and was the CEO of SoftSheen Products. He started his company in the basement of his home with family members and rose to international heights. Gardner was very active in advancing social and political issues in Chicago.

Scholarships Winners
We have reached out to the religious community to select the 2010 class of N'Digo scholars. Our dollars allow other students to attend the schools of their choice in a variety of disciplines, such as business, communications, education, law, and medicine.

This year, we think our contribution to young Black students is more critical than ever.

Gala tickets are $250 and can be obtained by calling 312.321.2800.

This is a black-tie/evening gown affair and everyone is always glamorous, handsome, and beautiful in the latest fashions. It is an elegant, romantic Sunday event.