The VIPP Report: 100 Black Men of Louisville announces Black Street featuring Teddy Riley as their Kentucky Derby gala entertainment

blackstreetteddyrileyofficialWe are just a few weeks away from the Kentucky Derby and events are beginning to roll in as the city prepares for the greatest two minutes in sports.  The 100 Black Men of Louisville Derby Scholarship Gala is one of the premiere pre-Derby events and I have confirmed that on Thursday, April 30th, the gala will have Grammy Award winning R&B, Soul & New Jack Swing group, Black Street featuring Teddy Riley.  The gala will be held at the Galt House East in the Grand Ballroom at 7:00 p.m.

Red Carpet begins at 6:15 p.m. along with the opening of the lounge area and bidding on the auction. At 7:00 p.m. the doors of the grand ballroom opens followed by the program and live performance for Black Street featuring Teddy Riley.  Guests will hear hits like “No Diggity” and “Before I Let You Go”.

Kevin Wigginton, President of 100 Black Men of Louisville says “We are excited about this year’s entertainment but I’m more excited that we as an organization can create such a great event that in turns goes right back into this community to assist our youth on some many levels. We are definitely partying with a purpose and that’s what it’s all about.   I hope everyone comes out and has a great time.”

Individual tickets are $200 and a table of 10 is $2,000. To purchase tickets and/or to be a sponsor, go to or by calling 502-457-9941.

The 100 Black Men of Louisville Derby Scholarship Gala was made possible due to the support of our program sponsors: Humana, General Electric (GE), PNC Bank, Norton’s & Net Grain.

Proceeds benefit the Mentoring, Education and Health & Wellness programs of 100 Black Men of Louisville.

To learn more about 100 Black Men of Louisville, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization their programs, special events and how you can get involved go to

To setup an interview, contact VIPP Communications at info at vippcommunications dot com.  You can also follow us on Twitter @vippcomm.

The VIPP Report: The White House releases that President Barack Obama will be in Louisville later this week

Sherlene Shanklin with President Barack Obama

Sherlene Shanklin with President Barack Obama

By Sherlene Shanklin

Later this week, President Barack Obama will be in Louisville, KY.  At this time, White House officials are not releasing very many details.  I do know that the President will visit Indatus, a Louisville based technology company on Thursday, April 2, 2015.  The business is located on E. Main Street, which is just down the street from the KFC Yum Center and Whiskey Row, a new business development designed to promote Kentucky’s bourbon and other related products.

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The VIPP Report: Meet the woman who touched the lives of so many people because of her dedication and determination



This photo was taken by Jonathan Roberts

This photo was taken by Jonathan Roberts



It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Louisville, Kentucky when Asia Renee Ford gained national attention because she was trying to teach her children that whatever you may be going through in life, “Don’t Give Up”.  The 35 year old mother of three started her lifestyle change journey two years ago weighing 474.  Fast forward, two years later and 200 pounds lighter Asia decides to participate in the Rodes City Run, 10K race held in Louisville.  This is not her first race, she did it in 2014 and all she wanted to do was beat her time.  Recovering her pneumonia and taking antibiotics, Asia could of have easily made an excuse not participate.

Asia set out on Saturday, March 21st to finish that race and that’s exactly what she did.  During mile four with two miles to go, she felt her body shutting down on her but she was determined.  A Louisville Metro Police officer saw Asia and her son and went to her aid not knowing that she was saying a prayer for strength and the will to keep going when the officer appeared and tried to assist her.  Officer Gregory initially thought Asia would stop but within seconds, then he realized that she would not quit. He helped her at mile five when she slowed down again. So, he assisted her to get to the finish line with emergency personnel following close behind.  The EMT, and a photographer snapped a couple of photos and the photos went viral.  Media outlets from all over the world have contacted Asia from ABC News, People, Time, CBS to the Washington Post.

You know the story of Asia Ford’s race on that day, but now you can hear from her on how she got to that day.  From her weight loss journey, her strong support system, her faith in herself and God.  She’ll be the first to tell you that every day is a journey but with lifestyle changes you can see results.  You can see her updates on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can follow her journey, tips, and advice she will give to help you start the journey.  There’s also a Go Fund Me Page for you to review  Please consider supporting.

Asia says “I started my lifestyle change 2 years ago after my husband at the time lost his hand in an amputation due to diabetes. My kids were old enough to understand everything the doctor said and I knew right then and there, we were letting our kids down. It was time to change! I joined a boot camp called Aspirations with the help of a friend and changed the way I ate. At 474 lbs. it was a struggle but now 217 lbs. down I know I’ll be around for my kids and see them graduate, go to college, get married. I’m grateful to God that I woke up and took my life back”

If you would like to setup an interview with Asia Ford and/or have her speak at your next event contact VIPP Communications at 502.582.7716 or by email at

Follow Asia Ford on Twitter @louaford4      Facebook: Asia Mystory Ford        Instagram: GODSTRANSFORMATION05

The VIPP Report: 100 Black Men of Louisville will honor students for their commitment to academics, community service, and leadership



On Sunday, April 19th, 100 Black Men of Louisville will host along with Fourth Street Live a Scholarship Reception at 441 S. Fourth Street in the Tavern Hall on the second level from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. They will recognize and award their 2015 scholarship recipients. Twelve students will honored because they meet the values, mission and eligibility criteria outlined by the organization.  From their academic intellectual development, spirituality, justice, integrity, leadership to respect for family is just a few of the attributes that these students exemplify.

Students will receive scholarships and awards from Georgetown College, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University and the 100 Black Men of Louisville.   Representatives from each institution will be in attendance for the celebration.  Those scholarship dollars will assist youth in completing their educational goals by providing resources to offset expenses associated with tuition, books and housing.

Kevin Wigginton, President of 100 Black Men of Louisville expects greatness from the youth and applauds the commitment from their partners. He says “The purpose of the scholarship reception is to recognize the outstanding academic achievements of our Mentees and students in the community who are our Future Leaders.  We hope that with the support of the 100 Black Men of Louisville and the support of our College, University and Corporate Partners these students will be inspired to give back to and make a difference with someone else.  I’m asking the community to come out and celebrate with us as we congratulate this group and their families.”

If you would like to setup an interview with Kevin Wigginton and/or a scholarship recipient, please contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at 502.295.0435 or by email at

To learn more about 100 Black Men of Louisville, Inc. a 501(c)(3) organization their programs, special events and how you can get involved go to

***Derby event announcement

100 Black Men of Louisville Derby Scholarship Gala will be held on Thursday, April 30th in the Grand Ballroom of the Galt House East.  Entertainment will be announced next week.  One of their top 1990’s hit is currently being played during a national commercial.  You have been humming and patting your foot to the tune and you can see them live in Louisville.  Stay tuned for the official announcement.



The mission of 100 Black Men of Louisville, Inc. is to improve the quality of life within our communities and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.

The VIPP Report: Stevie Wonder receives a special gift from the Louisville Slugger Museum and the KFC Yum! Center


Tonight, music legend Stevie Wonder is in Louisville for his SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE PERFORMANCE TOUR at the KFC Yum! Center.  The singer, songwriter, musician and producer received a special gift today.  The KFC Yum Center and the Louisville Slugger presented Wonder with a Louisville Slugger bat.  It was the first ever braille bat. One one side words were engraved and then on the other side it was put into braille.

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The VIPP Report: Men Building Men announce their “Man of The Year” at inaugural community awards banquet

Derek Anderson Sr

Men Building Men and the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy will host their inaugural awards banquet on Saturday, June 27th at 5:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza, 830 Phillips Lane.

The evening will consist of a VIP Reception at 4:30 pm, where you will meet the seven honorees, the youth achievement award recipients and this year’s “Man of the Year”. The black tie event will begin at 6:00 pm.

This year’s recipient for the “Man of the Year” and keynote speaker will be Louisville native, NCAA champion with the Kentucky Wildcats and NBA champion with the Miami Heat, Derek Anderson. The entrepreneur and author will be introduced by Junior Bridgeman, President of Manna Inc.

Anderson says “I’m truly honored and blessed to receive this prestigious honor. I want to encourage people not to quit and to have enough Stamina. Don’t let someone’s negative opinion of you become your reality.”

The community awards will go to seven people who’ve went above and beyond the call of duty. We will also recognize some students who work in the community and are role models to their peers with the youth achievement awards.

Frank Porter, Founder of Men Building Men says “This is going to be a great event. Our committee has chosen some unsung heroes. They are involved in our community on every level from arts to law enforcement. I hope that you come out and support our youth, recipients and Derek he truly has a story to tell about his life and we believe his message will help our youth understand that they can achieve, all they have to do is believe. “

General admission tickets for the Men Building Men Community Service Awards are $100. To purchase them and/or learn more about the VIP reception call 502-714-8960.

The VIPP Report: Joyce Meyer Ministries will be at the KFC Yum! Center in April


Joyce Meyer Ministries will be in Louisville April 23rd through the 25th at the KFC Yum! Center. Meyer along with Christian music artist Israel Houghton will be hold four sessions that will give guests a powerful message from Joyce as well as worship with Israel.

There’s a total of four sessions

·         Thursday, April 23, 7 pm

·         Friday, April 24, 10 am & 7 pm

·         Saturday, April 25, 10 am

Admission is free for all sessions.  No registration is required but seating is on a first come, first serve basis.  The doors of the KFC Yum! Center will open approximately two hours prior to each session.

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The VIPP Report: With the Kentucky Derby right around the corner its an old school party on the waterfront with Rose Royce and Midnight Star


On Tuesday, April 28th Rose Royce along with Midnight Star will party the night away as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival Waterfront Jam. 

Rose Royce have been playing hits like “Car Wash” and “Wishing on a Star” for over 25 years.  The Grammy Award winning R & B and soul group will be headline the outdoor concert. 
Kentucky knew about Midnight Star well before the world knew who they were.  They formed their group at Kentucky State University in Frankfort in 1976.  It will be like a homecoming for this band.  Fans will be partying to “No Parking on the Dance Floor” and “Do It” just to name a few od their many hits. 
Admission to all of the KDF Waterfront Jam concerts are free with a 2015 Pegasus Pin. 
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The VIPP Report: The Prince of Wales meets with Sculptor Ed Hamilton during his visit to Louisville




By Sherlene Shanklin

World renowned sculptor Ed Hamilton and his wife Bernadette had the wonderful opportunity to meet the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall made a trip to the United States and Louisville, KY was on their schedule.  The Hamilton family met the royal couple on Friday in an intimate meet and greet.   

Hamilton has many works all over the world. He created the Spirit of Freedom”. That was the first National Memorial in the District of Columbia has achieved worldwide acclaim.
That was a tribute to the Colored Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War now stands at 10th and U Streets NW in Washington D.C. It was dedicated on July 18, 1998.
Other public memorials of note include the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, CT. 1992, the Joe Louis Memorial dedicated at Cobo Hall in 1987, the
Booker T. Washington Memorial dedicated May 12, 1984, Whitney M. Young Jr. dedicated in Frankfort, Kentucky on the Kentucky State University campus, October 9, 1998, the Lenny Lyles Memorial dedicated October 13, 2000 at Cardinal Park Complex, on the University of Louisville campus.
Ed created a Memorial to honor York, the slave of William Clark, who was a vital part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. The 8’ ft. heroic Bronze is mounted on a four foot sculpted natural rock is
on the Belvedere in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
The York Memorial was part of the Bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Corps of Discovery. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Plaza is a memorial that consists of a twelve-ft. scale bronze of  Abraham Lincoln as he is sitting on a sculpted rock. Also there are four bas-relief bronze plaques, 4×6 scale.  The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on June 4, 2009 at Waterfront Park, Louisville Kentucky.  In 2014, he unveiled The Unfinished March of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Newport News, Virginia. 
I spoke to Hamilton this evening and he and his family are still excited about the experience.  He never thought he would have this opportunity but he has great friends and when the opportunity presented itself he was able to meet the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. 
For more on Sculptor Ed Hamilton contact VIPP Communications at 502-582-7716 or by email at
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DSCF1463 edhamiltonmemorialedhamilton

The VIPP Report: Prince kicks off his tour in Louisville and Sherlene Shanklin reviews the show


Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL "HitnRun" Tour Opener - Louisville

Special by Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, Louisville, KY

“On Selection Sunday the HITNRUN USA Tour was a number one pick for concerts in 2015” Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL performed four shows in two days in Louisville.

This time last week, Prince fans were scrambling to find tickets. When I announced that music legend Prince would be in Louisville to kickoff his U.S. tour, I instantly picked up followers. Prince gave fans an one week notice and the tickets sold out in record time causing Live Nation to add not one but a total of three additional shows over a two day period.

When I got word that I would be attending the last show in Louisville to give a review of the concert, I knew he would leave fans wanting more. Well, I was right.

With it only being March, I have to say Prince with 3RDEYEGIRL with Louisville native Hannah Welton on drums is the best concert of the year. Since the concert was held on Selection Sunday, I would have to use basketball analogy and call it a slam dunk causing real madness in March for music lovers.

The Louisville Palace had 2,600 screaming fans including myself when he took the stage to “Let’s Go Crazy”. That was so appropriate because fans went crazy when the music interlude started. I met some fans waiting for the 11 pm show and they told me if Prince is in a good mood, the show will be taken to another level. Well, he gave that positive sign almost immediately by pulling off his sunglasses and then he flashed his million dollar smile that confirmed to his fans that his jam session was officially underway. Prince even pulled two couples from Louisville on stage and they danced during his performance.

Some dozen songs later, an encore performance was underway and a solo from Welton. Fans stood nearly a hour and a half, screaming, singing along and taking you back in time because yes Prince did sing some of his biggest hits that made him a legend. The production and timing of his show was seamless. Vibrant colors transitioning the change of a song. Prince used the whole stage from standing right in front of the stage with his “symbol” microphone stand to the side of the stage where his keyboard was positioned.

The intimate venue made you feel like you were in a private show. I need to warn you that security has eyes on you and your electronic devices. They walked up and down each aisle. If security catches you, they would flash you with a light and someone would come and escort you out of the venue.

Prince addressed fans about 80 minutes into the show, Prince said “I like this place”. He also told the audience that Louisville had two things, Muhammad Ali and Hannah Welton and fans showed their love with a loud applause. Welton went into a serious jam session for her hometown crowd. Prince, members of 3RDEYEGIRL, backup singers and the keyboard player all left the stage to give Hannah her moment. Once she finished giving fans an unbelievable performance Prince returned to the staged to thank everyone for attending.

As they exited the stage Hannah threw up a heart sign to fans as she left.

I would say they left to a standing ovation but you really need to sit for that to happen. Fans NEVER sat down during the entire show.

This one of the most diverse concerts I have ever attended. From every race to a 12 year old getting to attend his very first concert as a birthday gift from his mother. The Hit and Run Tour is a home run for fans because Prince is hitting a grand slam with this tour.

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Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL "HitnRun" Tour Opener - Louisville


The VIPP Report: The Deion Branch Foundation prepares for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Marathon/miniMarathon


It’s that time of the year again! The Deion Branch Foundation will be entering the 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon/miniMarathon on Saturday, April 25, 2015! For the fourth year, Team Branch will be running the Mini (13.1 miles) portion of the race.

Because of all of you,  last year we were able to raise a total of $10,725!  That’s $22,000 including the Branch Family donation match. We are excited to begin training and even more excited to see if we can reach our goal again this year.  In addition to raising funds for the foundation, we will also be donating multiple small grants to non-profit organizations in need, who share our mission of supporting children’s mental, physical and emotional well-being of children in our communities. In order to apply, applicants will need to send a letter on their organization’s letterhead that includes:

Introduction/Information on program.  Amount of money needed.  How the grant will benefit the children being serviced.

All letters can be mailed to the foundation and must be postmarked by April 1, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be notified no later that April15, 2015. To keep this event special for us, Deion will still be pushing Deiondre the last mile (mile 12)! Upon completion of the event, the Branch Family will MATCH ALL funds raised. We ask that you please join us and consider making a donation in honor of Deiondre and the Deion Branch Foundation.

You can also help by spreading the word. Please feel free to share on your social media pages as well as with organizations who you think will benefit from our grants.  If you would like to volunteer or run/walk with Team Branch please send us an email at

Help us make a difference, one mile at a time!!!

To donate, please visit the following link: .

Send donations and grant letters to: Team Branch, P.O Box 568, Carmel, IN 46082.

Thanks for your continued generosity, love and support,

Team Branch

The Deion Branch Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to offer support to children’s mental, physical, emotional well-being and for those inflicted with meningitis.  The DBCF’s mission is to help with research and to find a cure to ease the struggles for children like Deiondre, Deion’s son. The foundation goal is to assist by providing programs and initiatives aimed at improving their quality of life. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Branch is a client of VIPP Communications.  For interviews and/or appearances contact us at

The VIPP Report: Muhammad Ali welcomes the Prince of Wales to Louisville, KY

Muhammad Ali released this updated photo on Twitter 3-20-15 Cheering on the Louisville Cardinals.  He also sent a statement to the Prince of Wales who was visiting Louisville.

Muhammad Ali released this updated photo on Twitter 3-20-15 Cheering on the Louisville Cardinals. He also sent a statement to the Prince of Wales who was visiting Louisville.

By Sherlene Shanklin

On Friday, Louisville native Muhammad Ali sent a warm “Welcome to Louisville” message to Prince Charles and his wife Camilla who are visiting the city as part of a multiple-day trip to the states.  The statement from Ali, which was read by Mayor Greg Fischer during today’s Harmony and Health Initiative Luncheon at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.

His Majesty Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall,

 Lonnie and I welcome you to our hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, USA! We are honored that you have come to explore, share, and learn about new sustainable initiatives that are so close to your hearts. Louisville prides itself on being a compassionate city and we are confident that you will leave feeling a sense of our southern hospitality, caring for the environment, and yes—our love for college basketball.  As you travel back to your homeland, we hope you know how much this city respects and admires the many contributions you have made in the world. We think you are the greatest.

 –Muhammad Ali

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The VIPP Report: Prince of Wales will make a stop in Kentucky and a local youth group will get to perform for him


By Sherlene Shanklin

I’ve been in contact with McDaniel Bluitt, Executive Director for the West Louisville Boys and Girls Choir.  This Friday, they will perform for Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales.  Bluitt says they are scheduled to sing several songs with one of them being “Amazing Grace.”

Prince Charles will be in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, March 20, 2015.

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The VIPP Report: Derek Anderson will host a basketball camp in his hometown of Louisville to help prepare youth to handle themselves both on and off the court

1799000_10203164447174035_729699839_oFormer NBA and NCAA champion Derek Anderson is proud to announce the return of his Stamina Camp for the third year. “Stamina Camp 15” will be held in Louisville, KY on June 22th-26th at Louisville Collegiate School, 2427 Glenmary Ave. The five-day camp will go from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day where Anderson and his team of coaches will take your child through a series of life skills that can be used both on and off the court.

Anderson says “I like teaching basketball players but I love to help people to be better! At Stamina Camp we all get better at BOTH! I want to teach them how to hold your follow thru, become a great shooter to doing your chores and becoming a responsible person in life. I hope it becomes second nature to them. Sports and Life go hand in hand if you want to WIN in both!”

The Kentucky Wildcat legend is opening the camp to youth from ages 7 to 17. Derek and some of his former teammates will stop by to participate in the camp. He’s also working on a few surprises for the youth. Just to give you an idea, last year, Derek played H.O.R.S.E. and held free throw contests and if the camp’s participant won, Derek would give the winner a pair of signed Jordan Brand shoes.

The camp is only $175, which includes a t-shirt, free lunch, drinks and a career poster.

To register your child, for Derek Anderson’s Stamina Camp 15 go to Registration begins on Monday, March 16th.

If you would like to setup an interview with Derek Anderson about his Stamina NBA Skills Camp, appearances involving his Stamina Book Tour and/or to be a sponsor please contact Sherlene Shanklin, Anderson’s publicist at 502-295-0435 or by email at


The VIPP Report: Enrollment underway for 2015 Miss Kentucky and Ohio Plus America Pageant


(Louisville, KY) The Fifth Annual Miss Kentucky and Ohio Plus America Pageant is just a few weeks away and it’s YOUR time to shine. The pageant will be held May 22-May 23 at the Cincinnati Airport Hilton Hotel. On Friday May 22 at 7:00 p.m. there will be a men’s fashion show and talent competition. The pageant and women’s fashion show will be Saturday, May 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

The Miss Plus America Pageant system is designed to showcase plus-size women who display confidence through their leadership skills within their community, beauty, and trendsetter. They have exterior beauty and amazing inner beauty.

Cynthia Elliott, Director for Miss Kentucky and Ohio River Valley Plus America says, “This year’s pageant is a benefit pageant which will benefit at-risk children. We are especially interested in helping pre-teen and teenage girls who have been teased, bullied or experienced depression because of their weight. We want them to join us and volunteer and be a part of this event so they can be mentored by women who have been through what they have been through and are now confident in who they are.” The women in the pageant will also have the opportunity to promote other charities such as the Cancer Society, Race for the cure, Domestic violence, Kidney foundation and other worthy causes.

To kick off the event, on Sunday, March 22 at the Cincinnati Airport Hilton 7373 Turfway Rd, Florence KY, there will be a Boot Camp from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, a Model casting call at 10: AM -12:00 PM and Singing auditions   from 5:00 PM-8:00 PM.

To setup an interview, contact Sherlene Shanklin, VIPP Communications at 502-295-0435. If you are considering becoming a contestant for the pageant(s) please call Cynthia Elliott at 859-221-8010 or by email at, visit the Miss Kentucky Plus America or Ohio Plus America Facebook pages. Also to sign up for the pageant go to