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Reginald F. Lewis 65th Birthday Celebration

Client: Mrs. Loida Nicolas Lewis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, TLC Beatrice, LLC and Chair of the Board of Directors, Reginald F. Lewis Foundation

Name of Event: “Celebrating the Dream Continuing the Journey,” Reginald F. Lewis Weekend Long 65th Birthday Celebration

Event Description and Purpose: With all of his dreams and with all of his successes, Reginald F. Lewis did not forget those who were in need. Giving back to community was something he stood firm on. Reginald F. Lewis, entrepreneur at heart, successful financier and leading African American philanthropist of his time (he was the first African American to build a billion dollar company, TLC Beatrice International) donated millions to various organizations and charities. His family continues to give generous amounts in his honor. December 7, 2007, would have been Lewis’ 65th birthday. His family, friends and Special Gathering put together a weekend-long celebration of his life and legacy in his hometown of Baltimore.

Client’s Goals:
Mrs. Lewis wanted to keep her husband’s giving spirit alive while also keeping his life and legacy an inspiration to others. She wanted to celebrate and honor her husband’s memory and motivation for future generations of entrepreneurs. Mrs. Lewis also had a very ambitious goal of her own — she wanted to add more dollars to the existing Reginald F. Lewis Museum Endowment Fund. (The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is the largest museum dedicated to African-American history and culture on the East Coast).

Special Gathering Event Design: What Mrs. Lewis wanted the most was to be able to share stories about her husband with those who knew him the best: his family, life-long friends, and his business associates, while inspiring other entrepreneurs to climb their own ladders of success as he did. Special Gathering created a motivational line of events that began with a reception and dinner tribute on Friday, December 7, 2007, with a lecture series Remembering Reginald F. Lewis with TLC Beatrice Executives on
Saturday, and a supper club fundraising gala with a performance by Little Richard honoring Judge George L. Russell Jr. on that Sunday.

Results of Event/Ongoing Results:
This special weekend-long celebration was exactly what the Lewis Family had hoped for in continuing this great and philanthropic man’s legacy alive. Continuing his spirit of
giving, the museum used Lewis’ Birthday Celebration invitation to ask guests to provide a tax-deductible gift as part of celebrating his legacy. The museum raised $150,000.

A few months after this weekend-long celebration, Sean “Diddy” Combs was the first recipient of the “Reginald F. Lewis Award” that commemorates Lewis’ legacy. Lewis continues to inspire contemporary black business men of today. The Reginald F. Lewis program booklet, a Kathryn Shagas design, also won a prestigious 2008 Best of Baltimore ADDY® Mosaic Award. And his birthday celebration was featured in Jet Magazine and international
newspapers across the world.