It finally happened. Ben Gordon Weekend 2008 kicked off tonight at City Hall in Mt. Vernon, NY. Being a part of the production staff for the last four weeks or so has been a task...but I'm glad to see all the hard work start to pay off. Today's events consisted of a talent show and youth based inspirational ceremonies. As the event was underway, I was still @ the office fielding phone calls, answering e-mails, solidfiying contracts, etc so I didn't get to see most of the festivities. It started raining just before the show was to begin but it soon subsided.
When I finally did arrive @ City Hall to partake in the occasion, it began to rain again (maybe I should have stayed in the office). The rain started coming down so hard, that we decided to cancel the rest of the night's performances and speaking engagements. At that moment, a lot of people decided to take cover in City Hall from the rain. As we started breaking down the equipment and trying to get people to vacate City Hall, something organic occurred.
The Revelators, an African dance troupe consisting of children from the local Mt. Vernon Boys & Girls Club, decided that they weren't going to let the rain wash away their performance. They cleared an area of the main foyer and started dancing. They were dressed to perform and that's exactly what they did. When I realized they were dancing, I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. It was a great, proud moment in Mt. Vernon's long history and I was there to witness it. The Revelators were amazing to watch and the ovation they received when they were done was sincerely heartfelt.
Ben Gordon Weekend has and will continue to be about faith, family, unity and, of course, sports. When The Revelators decided that the show must go on, they exhibited those exact same attributes. They had faith in their skills and weren't afraid to show it. They performed for their Mt. Vernon family who stuck around when they could have gone home. They displayed unity by dancing as one. They showcased their athleticism by adjusting their performance to the limited space they had to work with. The Revelators should be proud of themselves and understand that they set a great example for many other children in Mt. Vernon and its neighboring cities to follow.