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Fashion, fun and philanthropy were the perfect ingredients for the Harlem Haberdashery 6th Annual Masquerade Ball. The annual event was presented by Harlem Haberdashery Boutique, Take Care of Harlem ,5001 FLAVORS, The G.I.R.L.Friends & The League DGM Inc., at the breathtaking Riverside Church in Harlem.
Equally breathtaking were the beautiful gowns & one-of-a-kind tuxedos filling the historical landmark for an evening of glamour and giving. Upon arrival, guests had the opportunity to grace the red carpet and offer a few words towards the philanthropic efforts of the hosts.
The evening commenced with an exciting performance by the Marching Cobras of New York City – Cobra Performing Arts Program. This was followed by an introduction of the Harlem Haberdashery President, Sharene Woods and Take Care of Harlem Founder, Kells Barnett. Both speakers introduced the beneficiaries of the evening’s ball – The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. They also thanked guests for supporting the endeavors of leaders in the community and those committed to making change, which led to the awards portion of the evening.
The first award, “Woman of the Year “, was given to Audrey Smaltz for 60+ years of service in the fashion industry and her willingness to train people from all walks of life.
Following the awards portion, we had the chance to speak with President of Harlem Haberdashery, Sharene Woods. After introducing myself, I got right into it.
Can you tell me a little about this event?
Sharene Woods: So, this is our 6th Annual Masquerade Ball and this is a chance to bring fun, family, and philanthropy together.
What was the inspiration behind this event?
Sharene Woods: We are committed to helping the community, but we also are a fashion empire at Harlem Haberdashery. So what better event to have fashion and philanthropy than a Masquerade Ball? So every year we work with a different organization, and we honor local community hero’s that we love and appreciate for their community work.
Can you tell me about this year’s beneficiary?
Sharene Woods: This year’s beneficiary is the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. Dominique Jones the Executive Director, actually lived above Harlem Haberdashery and went on to become Executive Director and so we followed her and have been working with her. So it has sort of all come full circle.
Can you tell me the goals for the organization?
Sharene Woods: Our goal is to identify community partners and to work with them so they can benefit from the philanthropic efforts of “Take Care of Harlem” and the League. So the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem is one of our community partners and they benefit from our toy drive, called “Cool for School”, which is a school supply drive and this is just an ongoing way for us to raise awareness and to raise funds for their programs.
What is your favorite part or favorite thing to do at the ball?
Sharene Woods: My favorite part of the Annual Masquerade Ball is witnessing my diverse and extremely well dressed community, come in support and to celebrate the various community organizations and community leaders we honor. It’s important that we acknowledge each other and the transforming work that is provided to our community!
Any final remarks?
Sharene Woods: This is always an opportunity to dress up, have fun, celebrate Harlem, youth preservation and community groups. We’re from Harlem so we will always take care of Harlem.
After speaking with Sharene, we had the chance to enjoy delicious appetizers and cocktails provided by: AstraLuna Brands, Fieldtrip Harlem, HH Bespoke Spirit, Harlem Chocolate Factory, Harlem Shake, Papi Wines, Row House, Rozi’s Sweet, Seasoned Vegan, and Yave Tequila.
The festive evening could not have been complete without dope sounds and vibes from the talented and fashionable DJ Olivia Dope.
We look forward to the announcement of the 7th Annual Masquerade Ball from fashions first family, Harlem Haberdashery.