Hip Hop is how I define myself. Hip Hop did not start in the late 70's. It started long ago, undefined, from several points around the globe culminating into what we now call Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a way, a feeling, a thought. This blog reflects my Hip Hop.

Thank you for paying attention.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Bigg Russ, Colleen Bigsby (Chelsea Brewing Co, NY) & Ben Gordon

Let me first start this entry by saying being a part of Ben Gordon Weekend 2008 was quite a fulfilling experience. Three days of faith, family, unity & sports and I had a blast being a part of it. I sincerely cannot wait to start planning the next one.

Ever since moving back to my hometown of Mt. Vernon, NY, I've wanted to become more involved in its community. Knowing where to start was the hard part. Well, that's not entirely true. I knew I could try adding my personality to the more common institutions (i.e. Boys & Girls Club, YMCA) but after approaching those places, I felt I didn't fit their set in stone ways and policies.

Based on conversations with several close friends, it became clear to me that becoming a part of Ben Gordon Weekend (BGW) might be something I should look into pursuing. I immediately met with Kenneth Plummer, president of Kensworth Consulting, hoping to lend my services as a volunteer. Instead of volunteering, Kenny saw fit to add me as a full fledged BGW committee member. Five amazingly short weeks later BGW is over and I almost find myself sad because of it. It's one of those things where you can't wait for it to happen but once it is over, you wish you had more of it. Kenny introduced me to an amazing group of people who seemingly shared the same love of my hometown as I did, the rest of the committee. The best part about this crew is not only do they love Mt. Vernon, they CARE about it. What's the difference?

Love is emotion. Caring is action.

After learning the who, what, when, where and so forth surrounding BGW, I found myself wanting to do more. Wanting to spread the word about BGW. Wanting to spread the word about how great Mt. Vernon used to be, is and will be. Wanting to spread the word that, most of all, Mt. Vernon matters. As a community, some of us longer term residents enjoy showcasing our hometown celebs (Denzel Washington, Dick Clark, Gus & Ray Williams, Phylicia Rashaad, Puff/Diddy/Sean Combs, etc.). But Mt. Vernon is so much more than that because ALL of its residents make it so. Mt. Vernon is so much more because people like Michelle Walker, Karen Thomas, Willie Johnson, Dept. Commissioner Curtis Woods (DPW), Wes Alston, Vanessa Cowen, Fay Bartley, Hank Miller, Lowes Moore, Ms. Yvonne Gordon & the rest of the Gordon clan and a slew of other people decided to do something instead of just talking about doing something.

All that being said (and most of you know I could turn this blog into dissertation), I sincerely feel BGW was a smash and set an example for what it means to be community. Enough cannot be said about how everyone pulled together and made this thing happen. Of course, we couldn't possibly foresee the worst storm of the season happening when it did but that's okay. We didn't allow it to dampen our spirits though and that's the most important part. The various clinics run by Ben, the Bowling Bash, the Family Day...ALL successes. If you were a part of this, please give yourself a round of applause. If you weren't, I hope to see you at the next BGW. It's only going to get bigger and better.

Check out some more few pics from the bowling bash below.

Coach Jim Calhoun (UCONN) & Ben Gordon

Ben Gordon, Ashley Battle & Emeka Okafor

Kym Hampton & Ben Gordon

Brian Gillard, Kenneth Plummer, Terrie Williams & Hank Miller


Anonymous said...


You better make sure I get a picture with Kym Hampton next time. Has she asked about me yet :)

It was a pleasure working with you and I hope this is the first of many projects.


Vanessa said...

THANK YOU.... FOR ALL YOU DO!!! Let's get together again soon.

Hank said...

Russ, working on this event was a blast and having it all come together so well on the stormiest night of the year was a testament to the hard work of a group of very talented people of which you played a big role.