Pink and Black Gala celebrates, raises funds

Published 7:45 pm Saturday, June 17, 2017

Walk In It Inc. hosted the fourth annual Pink and Black Gala at Gethsemane Baptist Church on April 29. About 155 people attended.

The event began with greetings from Walk In It Inc. Executive Director Jennell Riddick, followed by a gourmet dinner catered by Gethsemane Baptist Church. After the meal, the live auction began and featured artwork created by the girls of the Ladies of Distinction program along with other special items. After the auction, special guest speaker, Dr. Tamara Baldwin, provided an inspirational and moving speech about the importance of good mentors. “Dr. Baldwin is a dynamic and amazing speaker. We were very fortunate to hear her speech at the event,” said Riddick.

Following Dr. Baldwin, Riddick presented the Ladies of Distinction of the Year awards with the help of representatives from each of the 17 participating schools. This honor was bestowed to participants who uphold Lady of Distinction principles, demonstrate leadership and are striving for excellence academically, socially and physically. Immediately following, the Stiletto Awards were presented to Dr. Tamara Baldwin, Mrs. Vickie Madison and Mrs. Audrey Lee. The Stiletto Awards are given to women who “walk tall among us” and demonstrate excellence in their individual spheres of influence.

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In addition to the awards, the 2017 Site of the Year was presented to King’s Fork Middle School and Site Coordinator Monica Vaughn. In addition to consistent meetings, King’s Fork Middle School has hosted multiple Lady of Distinction events, “Get Fit” Health Days, and demonstrated academic and social improvement among participants. Also receiving a special award was John F. Kennedy Middle School and Site Coordinators Latanya Brinkley and Renita Langston. This Outstanding Site Award was presented to John F. Kennedy Middle School as they have one of the largest site enrollments and are always ready for activities and produce consistent attendance. The night concluded after site awards were presented.

The Gala raised more than $5,000 for the local non-profit organization. “It is wonderful that so many people came out to show support for Walk In It,” said Riddick. “The night was beautiful and I am extremely grateful to Gethsemane Baptist Church, their staff and everyone who attended.”

Walk In It is a non-profit, 501c3 organization, founded by Jennell Riddick in 2004. Walk In It Inc. is dedicated to the empowerment of girls and women. Whether in the classroom, an after-school club, a conference/retreat, or personal mentorship, W.I.T. positively impacts the educational and social lives of its participants. Through a combination of practical life skills and empowering life improvement strategies, W.I.T. makes a difference one step at a time.

Through Walk In It initiatives and programming, the organization has successfully assisted in the empowerment and molding of thousands of girls throughout Western Tidewater since 2004. Eight of 10 Walk In It participants attend college, 65 percent improve by at least one letter grade in targeted subject area, and 75 percent receive fewer or no behavioral infractions in school. To learn more about Walk In It, visit