The Martin Luther King Community Heath Foundation recently honored leaders from the civic, business and philanthropic sectors for their community support at the Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” luncheon held on Jan. 15 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
The honorees included Anthony Anderson, Emmy nominated actor of ABC’S “Blackish”; Chris Nee, creator and executive producer of the Disney Channel’s “Doc McStuffins”; George Halvorson, chair, First 5 California Commission; the Gonzalez Reynoso Family of the Northgate Gonzalez Markets; Hon. Mark Ridley-Thomas, honorary co-chair and LA County Supervisor for District 2; Sherry Lansing, honorary co-chair and a member of the University of California Board of Regents; and the Hon. Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor for District 1.
Kevin Frazier, co-host of Entertainment Tonight, served as master of ceremonies.
Anderson’s mother, Doris Bowman, and brother were in attendance to watch Anderson receive the Game Changer Award.
Bowman beamed with pride as her son strolled on stage to accept his statuette. “I’m so proud,” she said. “He’s wanted to be an actor since he was nine years old.”
Anderson, a native of Compton who plays the affable Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson on the popular television show “Blackish”, expressed his gratitude to the audience and dedicated the award to his mother, who wanted to be an actress in her youth.
“She deferred her dream so I wouldn’t have to defer mine,” he said. “Mom, I accept this award on your behalf.”
The Gonzalez Reynoso family of Northgate Gonzalez Markets was also honored with the Health Champion Award for exhibiting their commitment to improving the health of the community.
Miguel Gonzalez left Mexico 40 years ago and opened a small grocery store in Anaheim. Fueled by his foresight and vision, the family now operates 38 stores throughout California.
Through their Viva La Salud Program, the Northgate Gonzalez Markets actively promote good nutrition habits and regular exercise. They also provide nutrition and chronic disease education by sponsoring health fairs throughout their service area.
On hand to accept their award was the co-president of Northgate, Miguel Gonzalez; daughters Michelle Gutierrez and Alicia Valadez, and niece Paola Gonzalez also accepted.
Also honored with the Game Changer award was television writer Chris Nee, creator and executive producer of the award-winning Disney series “Doc McStuffins.”
The ground-breaking series about a six-year-old African American girl who can talk to toys, dolls, and stuffed animals when she’s wearing her magical stethoscope and can “diagnose” their ailments has been a massive hit with children.
Nee got the idea for the television series after discovering that her son, who suffered from asthma, was afraid to go to the doctor. She wrote the series after realizing how scary a trip to the doctor can be for children.
The series has won three NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody Award.
George Halvorson, who chairs the First 5 California Children and Families Commission, was the recipient of the Yancey award. The Commission provides support and education to children in California from birth to 5 years old.
Other leaders who were honored for their unwavering support were Mark Ridley-Thomas, honorary co-chair and Los Angeles County Supervisor; Sherry Lansing, honorary co-chair and a member of the University of California Board of Regents; and Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor for District 1.
The newly-opened 131-bed Martin Luther King Community Hospital has adopted some of the best standards within the healthcare community, making it a state-of-the art facility dedicated to quality patient care.
The hospital serves 1.35 million residents from all over South LA including Compton, Inglewood, Watts-Willowbrook and Lynwood.