Ye Olde Philadelphia Club, founded in 1926, hosted its 97th Anniversary Spring Formal Dinner Dance on Saturday. The elegant event, attended by 500 people, was held at Rivers Casino in Philadelphia.
Club President Stephen C. Brangman remarked, “Our club has thrived for close to a century! We continue to evolve, meeting the current day needs of our membership while also honoring our organization’s past and the traditions set forth by our esteemed founders. While much has changed over the last 97 years, some things have held true: African American men in this city and beyond are best poised to support our communities when we work as a collective. While we are a social organization, the power of our brotherhood is very evident. Our annual spring formal is a celebration of gratitude for family and friends, because without the support of each other, none of this would be possible.
“My personal history with Ye Olde Philadelphia Club is filled with pride and admiration for my fellow members. It was an honor to wear the official club medallion which belonged to the father of my beautiful fiancé and first lady, Stephanie Gilbert. Her father, the late Frank E. Gilbert, was a past president of the club,” Brangman added.
Other distinguished 2022-2023 club officers are Charles Finney, Sr., vice president and recipient of the Ye Olde Philadelphia Club 2023 Outstanding Service Award; William J. Burke, Jr., secretary; Michael Brown, assistant secretary; Robert Hopson, treasurer, and Everett A. Gillison, past president. The Board of Directors are Maurice W. Browne, the late Reginald Cooper, Huie A. Douglas, Duane Lassiter, Joseph F. Pailin and David Roberts.
The evening began with a lovely cocktail reception where there was genuine excitement, conversation, and laughter. Ladies wearing gorgeous gowns and gentlemen in black tie received a warm welcome by Brangman. The invocation was offered by Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Johnson, founding lead pastor of Dare to Imagine Church, before everyone enjoyed delicious entrées and a tempting dessert bar.
A significant highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Ye Olde Philadelphia Club 2023 Civic Award to Cherelle L. Parker. “I was humbled to be honored by Ye Olde Philadelphia Club,” the City of Philadelphia’s first Black female democratic mayoral nominee remarked. “The club’s rich history in creating a space for Black men in Philadelphia, when they were not afforded a seat at the table, is an inspiration and a personal reminder why I ran this race to close the gap between the haves and the have nots.”
Parker graciously asked supporters in attendance to join her during the presentation. They included U.S. Rep. Dwight E. Evans, former Philadelphia City Councilmember Derek Green, William F. Dunbar, Sr., State Sen. Art Haywood, and Rev. Dr. Kevin R. Johnson.
A number of members and their guests spotted dancing to music by Soul Revival and socializing were Dr. Ramsey H. Chew, Jr., Diane and I. Page Bowser, Jr. Ramsey H. Chew III and his wife Alanna, Deborah M. Chew James, and Phillip Harrison. Terence A. Ball and I were delighted to be guests of past president Michael K. LeVere. We also enjoyed the company of his wife Hortense and members of The Philadelphia Tribune Family — Alonzo and Gloria Kittrels, and Irv and Carlotta Randolph.
Others having a fabulous time were club president’s and first lady’s guests Dorothy Brangman, Deborah Brangman, Rodney Chandler, Redmond Tudos III and Melanie Hawkins Tudos and Rebecca Ireland. It was great to see Everett Jones and Gloria Toxey Jones, Bill and April Rawlings, Dr. Walter P. and Nicole Harris, Thomas and Mayla Jackson, Louis DeVaughn and Elaine Evans DeVaughn, Gaylord and Patricia George, Dr. Gregory and Coralie Barksdale, Paul and Maxine Cocker, Darryl and Linda Stevens, Drs. Frederick and Linda Nunez, Michael and Dr. Anette Turner, John and Darlene Adams, Ben and Pat Augustus Gilbert, Bernard and Jacquelyn Smalley, Walter Livingston, Mary Livingston, Margaret Livingston and Joe Meade, Jr.
Thank you to the gentlemen of Ye Olde Philadelphia Club for graciously entertaining us with elegance, style, and good old-fashioned fun! Congratulations to 2023 Entertainment Chair Maurice J. Houston, and committee members Michael Brown, Maurice W. Browne, Ramsey H. Chew, Paul M. Cocker, Vasell Dillard, Huie A. Douglas III, Charles Finney, Sr., Robert Hopson, Duane Lassiter, Joseph F. Pailin and David Roberts.
Have a fantastic week “Out & About” everyone!