Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Street To Be Named In Honor Of Soft Sheen's Ed And Betty Gardner

FOR RELEASE Contact: Melody M. McDowell - 773-888-6881 melodypr@aol.com - email

STREET TO BE NAMED IN HONOR OF SOFT SHEEN'S ED AND BETTY GARDNERBlack on Black Love and City of Chicago collaborating to salute legendary couple

Chicago, Illinois - May 25, 2012 - Black on Black Love and the City of Chicago will salute Ed and Betty Gardner's long legacy of excellence by naming a street in their honor during a ceremony to be held on July 12 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. The street bearing their names will be at the intersection of 87St. & Dobson St., near the site of where their business Soft Sheen Products was based and thrived. The theme of the tribute is “Celebrating the Gardner Legacy”.

The celebration is expected to attract a wide spectrum of dignitaries from the City, the beauty industry, the business sector and from the political and grassroots communities, which have all been touched by the Gardners' generous and loving spirit.

The public is invited to pay tribute to these icons by coming out to celebrate this couple, who will be joined by their family and friends.

In making the announcement, Frances Wright, Black on Black Love's president and CEO, said the Gardners have touched the city through their business genius, which propelled Soft Sheen from a garage-based business to a global empire that provided superior health and beauty products to consumers worldwide.

Wright said the Gardners' business savvy was matched only by their commitment to bettering the community through their activism and compassion. It was Mr. and Mrs. Gardner who spearheaded the crusade to get Harold Washington elected Chicago's first black mayor through an energetic and inspiring campaign titled, “Come Alive Oct. 5!” This campaign was a success and the Gardners were credited and hailed for the active role they played in this victory.

She added that the couple founded the Black on Black Love organization nearly 30 years ago as a way of grappling with the senseless black on black crime and violence that continues to plague the inner city. Black on Black Love creates and implements programs designed to break the cycle of crime in our communities through alternatives that nurture self-love, self-respect and self-discipline.

Among the programs under the Black on Black Love banner are:My Sister's Keeper's, one of the first complete aftercare programs in the state of Illinois to help women, who have been released from the correctional system, lead productive lives.

The Godfather Male Mentoring Program a program, which is designed to further the mission of Black on Black Love by providing a positive male presence for elementary and high school boys, through voluntary participation of male role models focusing on education, leadership and responsibility.Ex-Offenders Services, which provides a broad spectrum of services for male and female ex-offenders including recovery, counseling, literacy/education, life skills-community reintegration, anger management and job training/emloyment opportunities.The Cook County Jail Motivational program whose purpose is to expose detainees to the concept of BOBL and to encourage detainees to leave jail/prison feeling good about themselves and aspiring to a better way of life. Catapult is a program sponsored by an Illinois Violence Prevention Authority Grant and a Family-Based Mentoring Initiative whose purpose is to End Intergenerational Incarceration. The program offers 50 children, ages 9 to 18 and their mothers a comprehensive mentoring program.

Black on Black Love also serves the needs of the community on an ongoing basis through its Annual Prayer Breakfast, Annual Thanksgiving Food Give-A-Way and Christmas Toy Drive.

Declared Wright, “Inspired by the Gardners' example of passion and activism, the City and the world are better places. On July 12th, we will pay homage to these treasures by dedicating a street in their honored. We invite the community to come out in full force to show their love to this dedicated couple.”

For more information, contact Black on Black Love at 773-978-0868 or log on to www.bobl.org.

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