The Ladylike Foundation held it’s 9th Annual Women of Excellence Scholarship Luncheon, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills, CA. on June 3, 2017. The event highlights the efforts of Leah Pump, president and CEO of Ladylike Foundation, an organization founded to mentor girls in inner-city Los Angeles.
The foundation focuses on helping nurture the girls, assisting them through life’s challenges, and inspiring their growth into young womanhood. Through a mentoring village of supporting women, Ladylike supports the member’s college pursuits and provides scholarship money to current standout university students who maintain GPAs ranging from 3.7 to 4.6, while attending some of the most elite colleges in the nation.
The scholarship recipients were also recognized for their humanitarian works from growing tress to developing support mechanisms for those in need.. In addition to recognizing the student’s achievements, Ladylike honored powerful and influential women who demonstrate an outstanding legacy of business and causes of goodwill.
Pump values the character and contributions of the women. “This year’s Women of Excellence Award recipients are truly phenomenal: Linda Rice, Tina Knowles Lawson, Manuela Testolini, and Adrienne Houston. They are truly Women of Excellence in their various fields of business, television, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy,” she stated in the program.
The event opened with Oscar Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx, who ignited the Hilton’s Grand Ball Room with dancing and comedic interaction with the more than 700 attendees. The Mistress of Ceremony was award-winning actress, talk show host, autism activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete, who balanced the event with her heartfelt and humorous antidotes.
The luncheon included an auction of items such as an autographed Times Magazine cover of former president Barack Obama and former first lady, Michelle Obama, and an encased autographed baseball of legendary Jackie Robinson and 10 baseball hall of famers, a bat and glove. “The auction items are very value to my family and me for their civil and historical value; knowing I’m supporting the wonderful works of Ladylike and such up and coming leaders, makes it even more meaningful, “said Patricia Weston, winner of the two prized items.
Creator and head designer of Isabella Couture, Liliya Dilanyan, presented her 2017 line in the fashion show portion of the luncheon, featuring various models from Ladylike, kids from the community, as well as professional models in electrifying runway show.
One of the highlights of the event was a surprise appearance from Sean “Puffy” Combs, who stunned Pump and the audience with a $100,000 donation to help support the foundation in impacting the girls and helping assuaging the obstacles girls of color deal with in underprivileged areas of South L.A. “I thought I was just coming to my daughter’s fashion show, but to see the miracle that’s going on, it just truly moved me.” said Combs. He then then focused his words on Ladylike participants, “You are beautiful, you are intelligent, you are powerful, you are strong, you are truly Black magic; anything you want to have come true, you can make it happen. You are our future,’ he said.
Pump was moved and emotional about the event and seeing the fruits of her labor. “Throughout these nine years, we have seen Ladylike Foundation grow beyond my wildest dreams,” Pump stated in the program.
All Photos by E. Mesiyah McGinnis
The Sentinel changed Sean Combs’ name to reflect his current nickname.