Pastor Kelvin Sauls takes a selfie with the the Delaware State University Concert Choir. (photo by Kelvin Sauls)
Pastor Kelvin Sauls takes a selfie with the the Delaware State University Concert Choir. (photo by Kelvin Sauls)

Thanks to the generosity of Holman United Methodist Church and the South L.A. business community, the Delaware State University concert choir returned to their campus after being stranded three days in Los Angeles due to the blizzards on the east coast.

Earlier this month, the 27-member choir flew to Los Angeles for a spring break tour and participation at the 11 a.m. worship at Holman United Methodist Church (UMC). Scheduled to fly home March 13, their flight was cancelled due to heavy snow and strong winds in the northeast, resulting in $5,000 in unplanned expenses to the university.

Once Choir Director Lloyd Mallory, Jr., communicated their plight, Holman Pastor Kelvin Sauls began to coordinate hospitality and assistance in defraying some of the students’ expenses. He also arranged a benefit concert to take place on March 14, and recruited community partners to assist.

Many community partners contributed to the effort including Kyle and Kiana Webb of Webb Family Enterprises, Nicole Eneru and Patricia Williams, owners of McDonald’s on Crenshaw Blvd., and 28thSt.; Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce President Armen Ross, Ron Smothers, owner of Denny’s on Crenshaw and Coliseum, Danny Bakewell, Jr., LA Sentinel; and CaCera Richmond of the THAUrban.

“A special thanks to Holman pastoral, administrative and operational staff, members of the congregation and friends for going the extra mile in supporting and facilitating this Benefit Concert, resulting into a miracle on West Adams Boulevard,” said Sauls.

“With the support of all community partners, Holman UMC, and the presence of concert attendees, we exceeded our goal, and raised $10,000.” Also, Dr. Mallory and the students arrived home safe and sound in Dover, DE on March 15.

DSU, one of the nation’s historically black colleges, was founded in 1891 and celebrated its 125th birthday in 2016.  The choir has been an integral part of the university since the school’s inception. Dr. Mallory has been the director for six years.

Deborah M. Thierry contributed to this report.