Russell Simmons, O'Neal McKnight & DJ Cassidy come out and support UrbanPromise

Jerritt Clark Shares B-Day Wishes with UrbanPromise

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Thursday, April 1st
: Balloons hovered above the intimatesetting of LES's The Eldridge last night in celebration of photographer Jerritt Clark's birthday.

His birthday wish? To send 15 inner city children ages 11-14 from America’s Most Dangerous city- Camden, NJ, (2009 FBI Ranking) on a week long vacation to “The Happiest Place on Earth,” Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

In 2004, Clark left his comfortable living environment and upbringing to join UrbanPromise in Camden, NJ and "saw firsthand what these kids endure on a daily basis." Clark spent 13 weeks in Camden with the bright children of Urban Promise and helped make their goals a reality. He realized that UrbanPromise has one clear mission:to build a city of promise, one child at a time. Clark held this fundraiser, which featured a silent auction and raffle, to help fulfill his b-day wish of granting 15 wishes of 15 exceptional kids. Stellar.

I had the pleasure of meeting UrbanPromise President, Bruce Main, who launched the organization in 1988 as an outreach to children and teens in the city of Camden. It began with one summer camp of about 80 kids run out of a struggling Baptist Church, and has since grown to a multifaceted institution with a reputation of solidarity and success.

I also had the great fortune of chatting with Camp Spirit Site Director,Alberto Vega. Both he and his brother Tony, participated in various programs at UrbanPromise as children, graduated from college, and returned to

work full-time at UrbanPromise. As Main remarked, "It's amazing for the kids to have them as role models to look up to. You know, I used to pick them up since they were 5 years old to take them to camp. They went off to college and then returned to UrbanPromise." That is truly amazing and inspirational.