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100+ attend Tracy African American Association's Black History mixer | Arts & Culture

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100+ attend Tracy African American Association's Black History mixer
Arts & Culture
100+ attend Tracy African American Association's Black History mixer

TRACY - On Friday, February 4, 2011, the Tracy African American Association (TAAA) hosted its first networking mixer of the year at the E Gallery and Performance Annex, located next to the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, in downtown Tracy. More than 100 guests dropped by the free event to network and enjoy delectable foods and wines, while supporting the organization’s fundraising efforts.

TAAA places special emphasis on youth mentorship and education, and gears nearly all of its events and activities toward fundraising to benefit its Wayne Nelson Academic Scholarship Program. The scholarships - named for late TAAA member and education advocate Wayne Nelson - are provided to enrich educational opportunities for college-bound African American students who are graduating from Tracy high schools.

Among those on hand at Friday's event were Tracy City Manager Leon Churchill; Tracy Fire Chief Al Nero; Mary Kennedy-Bracken, CEO/President of the Lathrop District Chamber of Commerce; Joleen Ruffin, founder of Tracy Island Online and 2010 Tracy Chamber of Commerce Community Award recipient; Robert “Bobby” Bivens, Stockton Chapter NAACP President; and Leslie Cabral, Education Coordinator, Boys & Girls Club of Tracy.

More than 15 raffle prizes were awarded throughout the evening as guests introduced themselves to the audience and shared information about their respective businesses and associations. Several pieces of art were sold during a silent auction of works belonging to a private owner.

TAAA is grateful to the many individuals who donated food, wine, supplies, raffle prizes and auction items, and particularly to Jack Elliott, proprietor of E Gallery and Performance Annex.

By popular attendee demand, TAAA scheduled a second mixer even before the evening ended. The organization will return to the E Gallery and Performance Annex to host its Spring Networking Mixer on Friday, April 29 - just five weeks prior to its 17th annual Juneteenth celebration to be held at Dr. Powers Park - across from the Boys & Girls Club of Tracy.

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