The feeling of Christmas permeated the corridors of the Hyatt Regency Hotel as the Milwaukee Chapter of Links, Inc. celebrated their annual Emerald Holiday Jazz Luncheon, Saturday, December 11, 2010.
With President JoAnne Pollard Williamson presiding, and Luncheon co-chairs, Adrienne Trice Ridgeway and Judge Maxine Aldridge White assisting, the event marked the official start of the Milwaukee holiday social season.
A Christmas musical extravaganza featuring the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, under the direction of Raymond Roberts had every foot tapping as heads bobbed to the familiar and the talented improvisations of the students. The Swing Choir of University School of Milwaukee, directed by Ellen Shuller, serenaded silent auction shoppers and set the mood before the luncheon began.
The Emerald Luncheon is a tradition in Milwaukee and proceeds benefit the numerous programs of the Milwaukee Links, including The Arts; Services to Youth; International Trends and Services; Health and Human Services and National Trends and Services. The Links have focused, for many years, on improving literacy skills in reading, writing and math for youth and adults.
Celebrating 50 years in 2012, the Milwaukee Links have been fulfilling their mission, having given several thousand dollars worth of support in college scholarships; engaging hundreds of young people in cultural and academic events and programming; and creating strong mentoring relationships that foster excellence and empowerment and preparation for their futures.
Since 2003, through a partnership with the Fellowship Open and Quarles and Brady Law Firm, the Edith Norman Finlayson award was established which provides a monetary gift to a non-profit organization as part of the award process.
The Edith Norman Finlayson Award is presented to a volunteer whose commitment to community reflects the level of tenured service she represented. Edith Norman Finlayson was a visionary who used her talents, experiences and resources in education, business, health, women’s and children’s issues, politics and philanthropy to make a difference in the city of Milwaukee.
Patricia O’Flynn-Pattillo, Chairman of the Dr. Terence N. Thomas Memorial Scholarship was the recipient, this year. The $5,000 award will go to the Dr. Thomas scholarship fund, which seeds its recipients throughout their college careers.
O’Flynn Pattillo graciously received the award and acknowledged its significance in furthering the graduation and retention rates of Milwaukee’s brightest.
Two of the Links members and co-chairs of the Edith Finlayson Award Committee, Vice Chancellor Joan Prince and Michelle Mason, along with Quarles and Brady Chairman and Fellowship Open Founder Atty. John Daniels, Jr. made the award presentation.
Dr. William Finlayson gave gracious remarks about the legacy of the award; an inviting repast and bountiful silent auction/raffle completed another Emerald Luncheon tradition.