Roberta Baines Wheeler (RBW) Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Awareness Group hosted its 3rd Annual “RBW Her Life Our Legacy Jazz Brunch” honoring mothers who are gone but not forgotten. With standing room only and a view overlooking downtown Nashville, over 150 people were in attendance on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the event held at Waller Firm. The program honored mothers who have transitioned, increased awareness of pulmonary hypertension, and recognized KYB Leadership Academy.
The program began with the Have You Heard Dance Troop (dancers Keivonte Newbell and Valencia Thompson) and Welcome by Sydney Y. K. Brown (granddaughter of the late Roberta Baines-Wheeler). Greetings followed by Metro Councilwoman at Large Erica Gilmore, whose daughter is alum of KYB Leadership Academy, the leadership development program sponsored by RBW PH Awareness Group. The event host, introduced by Scott Wallace, was Harriet Vaughn Wallace (Fox 17 news), and the Mistress of Ceremonies for the white rose ceremony was Toni Fitzgerald.
Attendees enjoyed delicious food prepared by Chef Irving Brown II of The GoodLife Personal Chef Service, including scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach & three cheeses, smoked diced new potatoes, seasoned sweet potato wedges, maple turkey sausage, bow tie pasta salad, and Romaine Arugula salad with assorted cherry tomatoes & feta cheese.
The first keynote speaker, Lueatrice Green Lovett, introduced by brunch committee chair Lillian Whitehead, gave profound words of inspiration and encouragement. Mrs. Stefanie Rome, First Lady of Fisk University, introduced the second keynote speaker, Dr. Reginald L. Robinson, a cardiologist who educated the audience on pulmonary hypertension and the importance of a healthy life.
RBW PH Awareness Group Executive Director Dr. Katherine Y. Brown thanked community partners and shared accomplishments of RBW PH Awareness Group. Irving D. Brown III (grandson of the late Ms. Wheeler) presented Mrs. Rome with the 2019 KYB Leadership Academy Outstanding Parent of the Year Award.
Dr. Brown recognized participants beginning the 10th Cohort of KYB Leadership Academy; graduating seniors, including Irving D. Brown III (who will attend Fisk University); Ms. Katelyn Starks; participants from the first school-based programs of KYB Leadership Academy at Head Middle Magnet School in Nashville TN and at J.F. Shields School in Beatrice, Alabama. Over 20 KYB Leadership Academy alumni (wearing the official KYB Blazer) served as hostesses. Dr. Tonja Williams was recognized for her commitment to KYB Leadership Academy.
The RBW Her Life, Our Legacy Jazz Brunch is held Saturday after Mother’s Day celebrating the lives of mothers who have passed and developing a healthy community of shared experiences. Brown explained,
“We not only celebrate their lives, we honor their legacy by doing great things in our community,” said Dr. Brown. “With awareness, empowerment, and hope working together we can make a difference.”
Community leaders, elected officials, dignitaries, and families filled the room, with floral arrangements by event florist George Ridley and music by Geary Moore, with a concluding video presentation by Dr. Brown. For more, email RBWPHGroup@gmail.com; phone 629-999-1909, or visit www.fightph.com.
This article originally appeared in the Nashville Pride.