Judge Mablean Ephriam will host her 15th annual Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards and Scholarship Brunch on Sunday, June 18 at the Long Beach Hilton Hotel.
The day will be filled with music, laughter and inspiration as hundreds of fathers come together for the Father’s Day celebration. The brunch will honor fathers who are giving their all to make their kid’s lives better, with an emphasis on single fathers. Celebrity guests will include Pooch Hall, Jonathan Slocumb, and Ja’net Dubois. Music will be performed by Michael Phillips and Band and Angie Fisher.
“It will be an afternoon of great entertainment, great food, fellowship and meeting new people,” said Mablean. “It is the most happening event in town for Father’s Day.”
The first year of the H.U.F. Awards started in Mablean’s backyard with 200 people in attendance. The event has tripled in size. Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer will be honored with an award for fathers balancing fatherhood and career. Some of the other awards will honor men who have been married for 60 years plus, men who have created mentorship programs, and men who have a consistent and impactful presence in their children’s lives, and are great co-parents with mothers who they are no longer with in a relationship with.
“The Honoring Unsung Fathers Awards came from the lack of a viable organization honoring fathers. It was created to erase the negative myth about fathers being dead-beat dads,” said Mablean. “I meet so many fathers who say that they’ve never had this much fun on Father’s Day or been shown this much appreciation. I’m telling you, we make a big deal. We roll out the red carpet.”
Scholarships starting at $1,000 will also be given out to students pursuing a college degree. There are nine total, including two that are specifically for nursing and one for supporting a student from Jefferson High School where Mablean graduated from. There is also a scholarship for a student between the ages of 25 and 40 who wants to go back to school. The scholarship recipients have at least a 2.0 grade point average, but these scholarships are based on financial need more than who has the best grades.
“We weigh the need, not the grades,” said Mablean. “The most money will go to the person with the greatest need because we understand that all of them have a need, but some have a need greater than others.”
Along with the awards, the Mablean Ephriam Foundation is involved in mentorship and scholarship programs. The foundation recently raised money to send students of Jefferson High School to their prom and is currently raising money for their Thanksgiving and Christmas giveaways. For more information on getting involved with the foundation, visit mableanephriamfoundation.com. For tickets to the H.U.F. Awards, visit hufawards.com. The deadline for tickets is Thursday, June 15 at midnight.