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Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) celebrated its 13th Annual “Let Us Break Bread Together” Awards Dinner on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at Marina del Rey in Throgs Neck, NY. The elegant waterside ballroom played host to an array of powerful guests including business owners, civic and community leaders, such as Council Members Inez E. Dickens (Council District 9), Rev. Georgiette Morgan-Thomas (Chair of Manhattan Community Board 9) and others.

Hosted by Vanessa Taylor of Verizon FiOS 1 News team and “What’s Eating Harlem”, the awards dinner honored: Rev. Dennis A. Dillon, President of the Christian Times and recipient of HCCI’s Distinguished Service Award; the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce recipient of the Business Leadership Award, accepted by Board Member, Winston Majette; Deborah L. Johnson, Vice President of JP Morgan Chase Bank and recipient of the Corporate Leadership Award; Amie Kiros, Owner of Gran Piatto d’Oro and recipient of a Business Leadership Award; New Heritage Theatre Group, recipient of the Trailblazer Award, accepted by Voza Rivers, Executive Producer; Honorable Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, received the esteemed Rev. Canon Frederick B. Williams Community Service Award; Captain Paul Washington, Former President of the Vulcan Society & Captain of the New York City Fire Department received the Community Activist Award; a posthumous Legacy Award was presented to Bishop Preston R.

Washington, Sr., and accepted by Rev. Dr. Renee F. Washington Gardner, Senior Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church; and Jean Nash Wells, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Positive Community Magazine received the Media Excellence Award.

“Chairing the dinner was a wonderful opportunity for me to further demonstrate my commitment to HCCI and the community we serve,” said George Weldon, HCCI Board Member and Chair of the gala affair. “This celebration of our impact on the Harlem community is our chance to acknowledge our supporters, and to illuminate the beauty and strength of our community.”

Acoustic soul duo Acute Inflections, Janice Marie Robinson and Friends and music impresario John Stanley gave tremendous performances! In addition, three academic scholarships were presented. The HCCI/H&N Insurance Agency & Financial Group Scholarship awards for $1000 each were presented to Aliyah Brooks and Jade‘ Henderickson; and Imani Barnes received the $1000 Canon Frederick Boyd Williams Community Service Scholarship funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.

HCCI Chairman, Rev. Charles Curtis, Ed.D. stated, “Tonight represented 29 years of community service. Our honorees are community servants and business leaders who have strengthened HCCI’s mission and furthered our work toward a future marked by an empowered, engaged community and an increasing prosperity.”

President of HCCI, Derek Broomes noted, “This incredible gala is a prime opportunity for people to support HCCI monetarily. As a nonprofit, it’s important to generate income to support our work; and, we greatly appreciate all of the contributors.“

Proceeds from this event will benefit the ongoing work of HCCI, a diverse, interfaith consortium of congregations established to revitalize the physical, economic, cultural, and spiritual conditions of the Harlem community. HCCI has made a substantial impact on the social and living conditions prevalent in Harlem by developing low to moderate income housing; creating supportive health and human service facilities and programs; providing commercial development opportunities to local businesses; and expanding cultural programs. To learn more about HCCI and to view testimonials by residents who have been impacted by HCCI’s programs, please visit

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