Groundbreaking American businesswoman Sheila Johnson to present key award at this year’s gala, hosted by award-winning journalist and CBS-2 News Anchor Maurice DuBois

NEW YORK, NY, December 01, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — The Riverside Hawks will hold their annual fundraising gala on December 12th at the Mandarin Hotel, located at 80 Columbus Circle in New York City. Award-winning journalist and CBS-2, local news anchor Maurice DuBois, a longtime supporter of the program, returns to host the event.

As in previous years, the organization has selected an impressive list of individuals to honor on this, their 63rd year. Honorees at this year’s Gala are:

Dr. Monique Couvson, CEO & President, Grantmakers for Girls of Color – the primary national philanthropic intermediary organization, raising and mobilizing resources to support the power and brilliance of girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color. Presenting the award to Dr. Couvson will be Joanne N, Smith, the executive director and founder of the Brooklyn-based non-profit, Girls for Gender Equity.

James Beard Award-winning chef, author, and raconteur, Alexander Smalls, was the visionary co-owner of the renowned restaurant Alkebulan, the first African Dining Hall in the World located in Dubai. He is also the former co-owner of the celebrated restaurant The Cecil and Minton’s Playhouse located in the heart of historic Harlem.

Presenting this award is American businesswoman Sheila Johnson, Founder and CEO of Salamander Collection, Partner and Vice Chairman of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, and President and Managing Partner of WNBA Washington Mystics.

This year’s Corporate Citizenship honors go to GCM Grosvenor, a leading global alternative asset manager for over 50 years that delivers flexible solutions to some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated institutional and individual investors. This recognition is a testament to the firm’s unwavering commitment to community enrichment and social impact. Riverside Hawks program participants, Mya Nesbitt, and Briana Robles will present.

Helena Koffigoh, one of the program’s exceptional alumni will be on hand to honor the growing achievements of the Riverside Hawks girls’ program. Their accomplishments and outstanding performance, both on and off the court this year, merit attention. Caleb Crawford, a current member of the boys’ program will honor the class of 2030 boys’ team and the coaches, for bringing home another AAU championship trophy.

For information on the Riverside Hawks program, and details on the December 12th Gala (tickets & tables), visit

Founded in 1961 at Riverside Church, the Riverside Hawks program has never altered its mission, but rather, expanded on it. What began as a way to provide neighborhood kids living in the Harlem, Washington Heights, and Bronx communities, a place to safely gather, play a friendly game of basketball, and blow off some steam, has emerged as something much more. Today the program is credited with significantly impacting the lives, education, and careers of thousands of young men and women who have passed through on their way to greater opportunities. This is all made possible by the exemplary coaching staff, family, friends, and the long list of corporate donors and supporters who return year after year.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here