The Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, known as “Madison Links,” will once again be raising money for scholarships and honoring outstanding Madisonians at its Annual Scholarship and Community Recognition Brunch on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Madison’s east side.
“It’s sold out … for the first time ever, I believe,” Camille Carter, Madison Links Fundraising Committee co-chair, tells Madison365. Carter has been busy planning the fundraiser along with fellow co-chair Karen Moser. “This is the 10th year anniversary. We have some wonderful awardees and the community is really showing up to represent for them.”
The theme for this year is “Diamonds, Emeralds and Pearls” to commemorate the event’s 10th anniversary of, according to Madison Links, “bringing the community together to raise scholarship funds for area students and chapter programming, while honoring individuals and organizations that contribute richly to our community.”
“The Jazz Brunch serves as the primary fundraiser that has allowed us to provide more than $190,000 in scholarships to deserving students at our [African-American] Student Recognition Program, which recognizes over 1,200 students annually,” said Mary Rose, president of Madison Links, in a statement.
The event will feature a hearty brunch, live jazz music performed by the Mike Malone Jazz Quartet, a silent auction, and an opportunity for guests to network and have fun.
“Ten years in, the event continues to grow. We are looking for a new venue for next year already,” Carter says. “Our committee, and our chapter as a whole, takes seriously our search for hard-working community servants to be honored and recognized during this time … and we really knocked the ball out of the park this year.”
The list of honorees that will be celebrated at Saturday’s event includes:
- Rev. Dr. Marcus Allen, Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and President of the African American Council of Churches;
- Damond Boatwright, Regional President of Operations and Chair of the Hospital Board at SSM Health Care of Wisconsin;
- Dr. Jack E. Daniels, III, President of Madison College;
- Lilada Gee, founder of Lilada’s Living Room;
- Renee Moe, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Dane County; and
- The Beacon, which services some of Madison’s most vulnerable residents.
“Really just some outstanding community members. We have some heavy hitters,” Carter says. “We are looking forward to honoring them.”
Founded in 1985, the Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is a civic group that tailors programs to their communities’ specific needs and implements them strategically through public information and education, economic development, and public policy campaigns. The Madison Links are one of many chapters nationwide – and worldwide.
“Madison is a smaller community of African-Americans, but if you were to go to larger cities like Detroit or Chicago, it’s not uncommon for big cities to have two chapters of Links. We are a very strong organization,” Carter says. “We’ve been in existence now for about 73 years and we have chapters in the Bahamas and London, England. Nationally we are a very strong organization.”
The Madison Metropolitan Chapter of The Links is perhaps best known for its African-American Student Recognition Program held annually in the spring. Although the Annual Scholarship and Community Recognition Jazz Brunch is also proving to be very popular.
“We are getting very close to having awarded almost $200,000 in student scholarships,” Carter says. “These scholarships go to very deserving African-American students that are college-bound. That’s where our proceeds are going – to our students and to our programming and outreach services to help uplift our students our color.”