Mt. Vernon Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Honored at Lavish Gala

Aug 10, 2010

Story by Joe Parisi

Once a year, a large group comprised of Mount Vernon's inner-city youth, get pampered and honored at a lavish gala held at the luxurious Beckwith Pointe water club in New Rochelle. The event is known as "Billionaire Night of the Stars" and honors graduates of the National Association of Blessed Billionaires, Inc. (NABB) Entrepreneurial Summer Day Camp, located at 199 North Columbus Avenue (First Presbyterian Church). This year's unique gala took place on Monday, August 9.

The young camp graduates, who are between the ages of 5 through 15, are treated to an evening rarely experienced by other kids in America.

Most of the campers rise bright and early on their special day, in anticipation of their walk of fame and destiny later in the afternoon. No longer do they have to repeatedly admire their stunning outfits hanging in their closets - they finally get to wear them at a black-tie affair held in their honor. Because of their age, many don't comprehend that they are about to experience a real ‘Red Carpet’ experience, and will be treated like real billionaires for one special day.

At the end of a video and photo session, each child, accompanied by counselors and staff, board awaiting white stretch limousines and are escorted to the Beckwith Point beachside catering facility by a Mount Vernon Police Department escort.

Upon arrival at Beckwith Point, the children and guests are treated to an almost fairytale VIP reception, followed by a five course dinner, and a program of excellence, in which the billionaires get to perform songs, dance and drama during the NABB showcase part of the program.

Enjoying the festivities once again this year was Mayor Clinton I. Young, who is a regular at the special gala every year.

As in all previous years, the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event was the Rev. Audrey D. F. Smart, founder and Executive Director, National Association of Blessed Billionaires, Inc., who is married to Rev. Joseph Smart.

The idea of “Billionaire Night of the Stars" was conceived many years ago, as a way for young entrepreneurs to meet and mingle among successful business people, gleam from their wisdom, learn how to achieve their dreams and be inspired to reach beyond the stars.

While addressing the capacity crowd, the MC, Rev. Smart, stated: "Choose truth over lies. Choose the top over the bottom. Be the lender and not the borrower. Be the decision maker over having others make decisions for you. Everything that you need and everyone who has been put on the planet awaits in place to help you. Do not give up and never give in."

Receiving an award for having been selected as "Entrepreneur of the Year" by N.A.B.B. was Kevin Johnson, a passionate entrepreneur and philanthropist, who began his professional path graduating Magna Cum Laude from Clark, Atlanta University with a degree in Accounting. After working with a number of power house firms throughout the years, he currently uses his entrepreneurial skills to continually build the family businesses for generations to come.

The highlight of the evening took place when a thirteen-year-old up-and-coming hip-hop super star was introduced. He goes by the name of "Astronomical Kid" and is called Astro by his close friends and fans. When he started performing, many jaws in the audience dropped, since everybody instantly knew they were witnessing a unique young rising star in the music industry.

"I bet real billionaires never experienced anything like this when they were kids," said one parent near the end of the event.

N.A.B.B. was established in 1996 to address both the need for inner-city youth to get knowledge about and exposure to leadership development, career opportunities and entrepreneurial training. It also provides constructive self-affirming and inspiring activities during the after school, weekend, and summer hours. The organization recognizes the need to train the inner-city youth about money, investing, retirement, business ownership and consumer spending as early as possible.

Contact information about the program:

914-813-0045 or 347-933-3000

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