Homeless Men Benefit from “Gentlemen” With a Purpose
Matt | On 16, Nov 2011
It’s always nice to get out of the house, grab a few drinks, and share the Prune Juice Media brand with interesting people.
So, last Friday I made my way to the first-ever Gentlemen’s Ball.
The event made its debut in Atlanta on November 11, an homage to the 11/11/11 date, with a few simple goals in mind. Organizers wanted to give back to the local community, allow people to enjoy a black-tie evening, and have fun. As the event organizers put it, it’s nice to “party with a purpose” sometimes. Sounded good to me!
Homeless and formerly incarcerated men were the main charitable focus of the Gentlemen’s Ball. They partnered with Corporate Code, a local non-profit, in this endeavor. The group helps at-risk men transition back into steady work environments with workplace-appropriate clothing. The proceeds from the Ball directly benefited Corporate Code.
The evening featured food, drinks, and live entertainment from R&B group SWV. I even got a chance to learn about other cool media outlets and a meet a couple of followers of Prune Juice Media. The evening’s co-hosts included Cynthia Bailey of Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and Suchita Vadlamani, formerly of the FOX affiliate in the city.
From my vantage point as a media partner, the event was a major success. It was unique and positive without being pretentious. They accomplished their goal of making all guests “feel” like VIPs without the cliché of an expensive roped-off area.
After the event, I had a chance to sit down with Gee Smalls and Juan Session. Together they run their full-service event company, G-Spot Productions, which produced the Ball. Riding high on the success of the event, they shared a few thoughts with me about their venture.
“Planning the event has been a humbling and eye-opening experience. We definitely have bigger and better ideas for next year,” said Session. He spoke about the important task of setting the bar high for the Ball during its first year.
“I see a bigger vision where [the event is] celebrating gentlemen period,” Smalls said about future efforts.
“Lots of ladies came out and enjoyed themselves. We are truly celebrating the “gentleman” across the board,” Smalls added about last week’s crowd.
Of course, in the spirit of Prune Juice Media and all of their community involvement, Session and Smalls had something to add about political topics important to them. They are both politically aware and champion personal and professional causes in the name of their company.
Voting was an easy, yet important, one for them.
“To be gentlemen, you definitely have the responsibility to vote,” said Smalls, looking ahead to next year’s key presidential election.
There are other topics they also feel strongly about. As a married same-sex couple, they clearly have a stake in the growing argument of marriage equality.
“We are big advocates of gay marriage, pushing the issue, and having everyone get that equal right,” Smalls chimed in. He says that he wants to make sure G-Spot Productions uses its influence around the issue in the future.
As the Gentlemen’s Ball becomes an annual staple, their followers expect to see much more from them. The duo plan to impact the community one charitable event at a time.
Click here for more information about the Gentlemen’s Ball and G. Spot Productions.