Saturday, September 23, 2017
Legacy Ladies Honors Legends at Sixth Annual Torch Awards
By Sentinel News Service
Published April 9, 2010

Ladies Pamela Wily

Lady Patricia Gibson, Chairperson

(L-R) Legacy Ladies Jacqueline Castillo, Sharon Johnson,
Linda Fuller, Rhonda Cotton, Patricia Gibson and Pamela Wiley-Wells

(L-R) Lessie McKerson, Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, Jacqueline Castillo
and Bill Shack

Lady Linda Fuller, Chairperson Scholarship Committee

Master of Ceremonies, Chris Schauble, Morning Anchor, KNBC

(L-R) Sheryl Lee Ralph, George Gibbs and Teresa Gibbs

(L-R) 2010 Scholarship Recipients: Shannon Penn, Joy Bryson,
Dejuan Evans, Brandon Reyes, Taylor Mills and Caleb Farmer (Not
pictured Kenneth Chancey)

(L-R) Sister to Sister and Adopt – a – Family recipient:
Seated, Leslie Orticke, Standing: Ladies Jacqueline Castillo, Pamela
Wiley-Wells, Sharon Johnson, Rhonda Cotton, Linda Fuller and Patricia

All Smiles (L-R): bob Billingslea, Lady Jacqueline Castillo
and Jayne Parke

(L-R) 2010 Honorees: Standing, Dr. Gwendolyn Lee, Bob
Billingslea, Jayne Parker, Bill Shack, Seated L-R: Leslie Orticke and
Sheryl Lee Ralph

Photo Credit: Foxx Media Group  

On March 25, 2010, the Legacy Ladies opened the ballroom doors of The Beverly Hilton hotel to a coordinated background of shades of purple, yellow, and red, in order to set the stage for an evening of elegance.

Over 300 guests were in attendance to honor some of today’s most distinguished legends. The level of excitement was heightened by the sounds of Mike Phillips, acclaimed tenor saxophonist, and the Jazzy Boy Jeff Band, in celebration of the Sixth Annual Torch Awards. Traditionally, the Torch Awards promises to be one of the most unforgettable events of the year, and this year was no exception.

The anticipation of what was to be another stimulating and inspiring experience was under way. Pastor James McKnight of Congregational Church of Christian Fellowship began the program with a moving invocation.

The elegant evening was emceed by KNBC4 morning anchor Chris Schauble, who introduced the 2010 Torch Award Honorees who have been trailblazers in their respective fields, and have changed the world through their acts and deeds. The honorees were: The Walt Disney Company – Corporation of the Year, Robert L. “Bob” Billingslea, Vice President, Corporate Urban Affairs and Development – Lifetime Achievement Award, Dr. Gwendolyn B. Lee, National President of The Links Inc. – Legacy Leadership Award, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Award winning actress and AIDS activist – Community Activist Award, who began her acceptance speech with an emotional and inspirational song, followed by William “Bill” Shack, Entrepreneur and industry pioneer – Trailblazer Award, and Leslie Orticke, who received the first “Sister to Sister Awards.”

Each honoree gave motivational and memorable comments, which reiterated why they had been selected for this prestigious Torch Award.

As part of the organization’s mission to support students aspiring to fulfill their dreams of attending college, Legacy Ladies awarded a total of $23,000 in scholarships, laptop computers and printers, to six graduating seniors from Crenshaw High School.

The presenters of the scholarships were former scholarship recipients Marlissa Collier and Karsina Gaither who introduced the 2010 recipients: Joy Bryson, Dejuan Evans, Caleb Farmer, Taylor Mills, Shannon Penn, and Brandon Reyes. Also, Kenneth Chauncey, a homeless high school student at Helen Bernstein High School, caught the eye of the organization and was awarded a scholarship from the Ken and Kay Jarvis Foundation, and laptop computers and printers were awarded to Kenneth by Doctors Rodney and Charlene Holyfield. “Our goal continues to be transforming lives through education and other resources,” said Patricia Gibson, Chairperson of the Torch Awards.

The legacy of “transforming lives” was underscored with the presentation of the “Sister to Sister Award” and “Adopt-a-Family” to Leslie Orticke. Leslie’s commitment as a public servant to non-profit organizations for over 25 years, in addition to serving as Commissioner for the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, made her a deserving candidate for this award. During the past two years, she continued to give back to her community, while many of her friends were unaware that she was going through a personal catastrophe.

She faced multiple surgeries, lost of job, foreclosure, and no steady income. Legacy Ladies became aware of her circumstances and reached out to the various organizations she has volunteered for and asked for their help, and they responded.

The organization thanked the Ebony Guild, Lullaby Guild, League of Allied Arts, and the following Link chapters: Angel City, Claremont, Harbor Area, Los Angeles, Palos Verdes, and San Fernando Valley, for their support. Based upon their contribution, the Legacy Ladies, Inc., matched their contribution, totaling $10,200. Recognizing that her house was in need of repairs after her water heater exploded, causing water damage, the Ladies had the walls painted and other items restored.

The Legacy Ladies, Inc., also presented Leslie with a $500 gas card, a $500 gift card, and will pay her mortgage and homeowners association fees for six months, totaling $11,100.

“As the evening comes to a close, we are always encouraged by the generosity of others,” says Rhonda Cotton, Vice-Chairperson of the Torch Awards. “The belief that we must provide a safety net for those in need, and that the torch the Legacy Ladies ignited five years ago will continue to burn in support of underserved communities,” said Jacqueline Castillo, President and Founder of Legacy Ladies Inc.

The evening’s platinum sponsor was United Parcel Service. Other distinguished sponsors included Toyota, U.S. Bank, The Walt Disney Company, American Animal Eye Care, The Castillo Charitable Foundation, Ken and Kay Jarvis Foundation, Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Foundation, NestlŽ USA, Bill Shack, and Southwest Airlines, Legacy Ladies Inc.’s official airline carrier. The Torch Awards gala evening was produced by DEW Management & Associates.

Legacy Ladies, Inc., established in June 2004, by Jacqueline Castillo, is a non-profit organization designed to serve as a catalyst for change, improve the quality of life, and to empower disadvantaged communities through education and other resources. The members are Jacqueline Castillo, Rhonda Cotton, Linda Fuller, Patricia Gibson, Sharon Johnson and Pamela Wiley-Wells.

For more information on Legacy Ladies Inc., visit their website at or call (310) 335-0291.


Categories: News (Family)

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