Crescent Moon Gala celebrated sickle cell
By Nancy Godette
Special to the Outlook
Tionne “Tboz” Watkins, a member of the musical group TLC, was the guest celebrity at the Crescent Moon Gala 2016. This was the 14th year of the fundraiser for sickle cell anemia, which started as a retirement celebration for Edwina Martin, the grandmother of Nicholas Martin who suffers from sickle cell anemia. Watkins also has this hereditary disease that affects a diverse culture.
The program began with entertainment by drummers and dancers that included Nicholas and Denise Johnson, also sufferers of the disease. Omega Forbes and the Family Sings continued the upbeat entertainment before the Martin Family – Carmen, Dexter, Dexter Jr. and Nicholas – welcomed everyone and offered thanks for the support given to the cause.
Shonda Knight, news anchor of WCTV, presided over the program that brought to the stage City Commissioner Curtis Richardson, the Reverend Isaac Manning, saxophonist Chucky Crawford, Clay Dickey, Joe Bullard of 96.1 Jamz and Watkins. Watkins told the audience that she lived the first seven years of her life in the hospital and was told that she would not live past the age of 30 or have children. She added, “I’m 46 and still here by the grace of God, and I have two children. God works through doctors.”
D’Lo and Angel Trejo presented the Servant’s Heart to Velda Stevens, executive director of the Sickle Cell Foundation, and Pastor Helena Barrington and Pamela Barnes presented the Courage Award to the Doris Mays and Michael Atkins family that lost family members after battling the sickle cell disease.
After the Jabaz Mime Ministries performed, Daryl Parks, president of the Sickle Cell Foundation, introduced the board members and urged everyone to be tested for bone marrow donation because a bone marrow transplant was the solution to his daughter’s sickle cell disease.