Dr. La-Doris McClaney with Los Angeles City Council president Herb Wesson, Jr. as January 16, 2015 is declared Dr. La-Doris McClaney Day.
With composed dignity and humility, Dr. La-Doris McClaney stood before the Los Angeles City Council as January 16, 2015 was proclaimed her day; an honor bestowed in recognition of her significant contributions to the life of the greater Los Angeles community and her humanitarian efforts in support of worthy charities. According to Legislative Deputy Justin Wesson, the city of Los Angeles does not declare more than 20 days each year and very few, if any, Black women have been honored with a day.
“The last time I stood before this council was in 1986. My sister Burnie had passed away and my mother Eula McClaney, who was ailing, gave a multi-million dollar gift to eleven charities in Burnie’s honor,” said Dr. La-Doris McClaney. “My hobby is giving.” The real estate magnate and philanthropist credits her success to her strong religious beliefs. Guided by the conviction that God “allowed” her this lifestyle, Dr. McClaney noted that she feels a sacred obligation to give back. She continues to sustain the legacy established by her mother, who made the awe-inspiring rags to riches journey from the cotton fields of Alabama to Holmby Hills, California.
Dr. McClaney’s success has enabled her to maintain the McClaney Foundation, an organization that has generously supported charities and institutions such as the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, South Central Los Angeles Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled, United Negro College Fund, Bethune-Cookman University, Christian Broadcasting Network and World Vision International for over 25 years.
Dr. McClaney was genuinely surprised at her recent Christmas party when the three women who spearheaded the project, Lady Mae Blake, the wife of C.O.G.I.C. Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Legacy Ladies’ president Jacqueline Castillo, and networking coach Janice Smallwood-McKenzie, first made the announcement.
“I didn’t know why they went to the microphone,” said Dr. McClaney. Ealier that evening she’d used the same microphone to announce her generous gifts of $1,000,000 to Bethune-Cookman University and $1,000,000 to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Event organizers and friends Janice Smallwood-McKenzie, Lady Mae Blake, COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Dr. La-Doris McClaney, Los Angeles City Council president Herb Wesson, Jr., Thomas A. Parker Jr., Dorothy Ellis, and Jacqueline Castillo.
Los Angeles City Council president Herb Wesson Jr. made the declaration with additional comments from council members Curren Price Jr. and Bernard Parks. COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake and Dorothy Ellis, R.N. and longtime family friend made remarks before the full-capacity chamber of engrossed well-wishers, followed by the riveting, power-packed acceptance by Dr. La-Doris McClaney who challenged everyone to give. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, just give something to make someone’s life better.”