Power Play cast members Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street”), Lia Chang (Big Trouble in Little China, New Jack City), and playwright Lorey Hayes (For Colored Girls…), joined celebrities, special guests and performing artists who gathered to celebrate and pay tribute to Margarette Purvis and Will Brown, at the 25th annual STAR (Special Thanks And Recognition) program, held in the historic Audubon Ballroom in New York on Sunday, June 9, 2013. Sponsored by the Metro New York Chapter of the Jackson State University Alumni Association, the event annually recognizes the achievements of native Mississippians who reside in the metropolitan New York area.Margarette Purvis, a native of Jackson, MS, is President/CEO of Food Bank for New York City. She was introduced by her mother, Mearl Purvis, a JSU graduate and an award winning anchor and reporter for FOX13 News in Memphis, TN. Will Brown, a licensed New York State Real Estate and Insurance Broker, is a native of Mendenhall, MS. He was presented by the Rev. Michel J. Faulkner, President of the Institute for Leadership and Fitzgerald Miller, President of One Hundred Black Men, Inc.
Excerpts were performed from the musical, Soul on Fire, featuring Tyrone Stanley and company; Roderick A. Warner performed a scene from the musical Flambeaux. Other performances included vocalist/pianist Gary Mitchell, Jr., saxophonist Willie Gee and special appearances by five African American legends: Wendi Joy Franklin as Lena Horne, Jannie Jones as Ethel Waters, Michael Green as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sharon Hope as Shirley Chisholm and former Miss Mississippi, Toni Seawright, as Barbara Jordan. Actors Marjorie Johnson and Jay R. Unger served as co-hosts.
Among the celebrity guests attending this Silver Anniversary celebration were Barbara Montgomery, star of the NBC television series “Amen,” Micki Grant, actress/composer/lyricist and author of the Broadway musical, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, actor/model Renauld White and Woodie King, Jr., founder and artistic director of the New Federal Theatre in New York.
$2,500 was donated to the Sarah Norville Endowed Scholarship Fund. Established in 1999, the Fund awards scholarships and book awards to deserving students from the New York area who attend Jackson State University.