Beyonce’s Foundation commits to the Braxton Daryl Johnson Last Mile Scholarship. Presented at the 2016 Power Couples Ball

beyonce-color.jpgWhat does Beyonce’ have in common with the Super Bowl? Well they both leave a sizeable contribution to the community of the hosting cities and they both are held at Raymond James Stadium. On Friday April 29th, Beyonce’ will grace the Tampa Bay area with her Formation Tour at Raymond James Stadium at 6pm and Tampa Bay will be blessed by her presence.

As I sat in the Children’s Board conference room waiting for Beyonce’s representatives, in walked the power player of the day, my Kappa fraternity brother, Rev. Dr. Jeffery Johnson of Connections Community Church in Lake Wales, with two very distinguished ladies. Dr. Johnson had invited a few of the shakers and movers in the Bay area to the table and I beyonce-dir-philan-and-publicist.jpgwas blessed to be one. Dr. Johnson opened the meeting with a welcome and then turned the floor over to Beyonce’s’ Director of Philanthropy, Ivy McGregor and Publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure.

Ivy McGregor shared that Beyonce’ is one of the leading philanthropist in the industry and how she quietly gives to as many causes as she can. Beyonce’s message for living and giving is to BeyGood. That’s right, be good, spelled Bey Good. Most know Beyonce’ is affectionately known as Bey and her BeyGood message resonates from city to city.

In every city that Beyonce’ performs she sends her team ahead to identify several organizations and or causes in that city to assist.

When I entered the meeting, I met Deanna Wilsey, Chief Marketing Office from United Way. I, being a former Loaned Executive, swapped stories with her. We both agreed we were pleased to be a part of this exclusive opportunity. Ms. McGregor later told us, they partner with United Way nationally as a charitable arm of Beyonce’s BeyGood Foundation.

While scanning the room, I noticed a few familiar faces. County Commissioner Les Miller speaking with Kay Wells, publisher of the Florida Sentinel. The City of Tampa had a representative as well as the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Assistant, Nikki Gaskin was present. Bishop Thomas Scott of 34th Street Church candidate for County Commissioner was also present.

With about twenty five people fortunate enough to be invited to the table, we all introduced ourselves. As we enjoyed lunch of smothered fish with a nice green salad provided by Beyonce’s foundation and prepared by Eric of Eve’s Catering, we took turns sharing what we do in the community to make it a better place.

One of the things that resonated with me was Ms. McGregor repeating the scripture, “You have not because you ask not” and she also said “....sometimes we have a tendency to think too small.” With that in mind, I explained how my wife, Tampa Bay Tammy and I started the Power Couples Ball, in an honest effort to promote marriages and save our sons. I shared that after the death of our only son, Braxton, in a car accident coming home from college, we wanted to bless other young men with a scholarship in his name so his memory could live on. Thus we partnered with The Skills Center and presented the ‘Braxton Daryl Johnson Last Mile Scholarship.’ I informed them the cost of a year’s tuition in any Florida state college or university is $6,800 and that we were blessed to present one Last Mile Scholarship in 2015 to a young man at the University of South Florida (USF) at the Power Couples’ Ball. I went on to say that our goal for this year was to give out ten Last Mile Scholarships but we needed ten-fold money in order to do it. Shockingly, Ms. McGregor exclaimed, “DONE! You don’t have to worry about those ten scholarships, we will take care of them.”

An unbelievable feeling came over me. I was in total awe. I put my head on the table with my arms folded and thanked God. I then lifted my head and accepted my new reality, which happened to be a very good reality. There was applause in the room and congratulatory praises. While leaving the meeting, Kay Wells affectionately commented, “Your son was right here with you.” and subsequently stated “You must have been paying your tithes.” I responded with, “As a matter of fact, I have.”

Walking to the car, or should I say floating to the car because I was on Cloud 9, all I could think of was calling Tammy. When I told her the great news, she shouted “thank you Lord!” We are extremely grateful and looking forward to establishing an ongoing relationship with the BeyGood Foundation. For more information please visit Beyonce’s website

Beyonce’ and Jay Z are most definitely the Power Couple of the Year. Now if we could get them to come and accept that award, oh what a grand affair it would be. May God continue to bless her and her family.

Pictured: (l-r)Celeste Roberts of the Skills Center; State Dept., Consular, Kindall Johnson Hayes; recipient, Josiah Shand; USF Doctoral candidate, Tamina Johnson; St Jude P.R. Advisor, Kassidy Johnson and Ken Roberts of the Skills Center.


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