By Tyra Wilkes
Special to the AFRO
On Dec. 7, over 700 millennials gathered in the atrium of the newly renovated Duke Ellington School of the Arts for the annual Capital City Christmas fundraising event.
Each year, creator Mark Williams and the Seeking Visions, Gaining Success (SVGS) organization bring together members from communities all over, for the purpose of raising scholarship funds to support the next generation’s attendance at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). SVGS works year-round to bridge the gap between college and affordability for Black male scholars by creating a financial foundation on which they can rely.
“Over the years, we’ve built it from being a meaningless house party, to being the citiesmost anticipated Holiday party of the year,” Williams said in an interview with Bossip. “As we grew in our careers, we felt compelled to make the event more about giving back to our community, and less about turning up for the holidays. In the past the event benefited the likes of Toys 4 Tots and the HBCU foundation,” Williams added.
This year’s event raised over $15K for students and honored community leaders who are making notable strides across different channels; among those observed were Tony Lewis Jr., Tone P., Ronald Moten, Natalie Hopkinson, Gene Banks, Jamil Sutton, Randall Ellington, Greg Jackson, Alfred Wood and Frank Tramble.
While the annual celebration gives all guests a reason to wear Christmas sweaters and rejoice, it’s a satisfying reminder of the people the community serves and with whom it serves. The event is also emphasizes the charge for guests to aid in elevating the community to the next level. Seeking Visions, Gaining Success is the foundation of that work, and because of the organization, young Black men who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity now have a chance.
For more information about SVGS and the beneficiaries of their work, visit their website.