Shortly before Christmas, friends gathered at Jazzy Sensations for a special recognition of local businesses that have made contributions to the Nashville community for a record number of years. Those individuals were recognized at the Fifth Annual Nashville Legends Ball.
Milton Williams, one of the owner’s of Jazzy Sensations Dance Club, made a special presentation following a night of dancing and camaraderie. Milton, aka ‘Mr. Magic,’ hosted the evening and began by commenting on the state of emergency surrounding community youth and the conditions by which we live.
“Children do not enjoy going to jail,” he said, “and these are some of the stereotypes that people have on them. Instead of waiting for someone to help our community, we must help ourselves.”
Milton says that giving recognition to those who have been a constant help to the community through their businesses is considered to be one way of showing how people move forward.
Milton invited already recognized leaders to make presentations to the actual honorees.
During their introductions, many gave thanks to what Milton and Jazzy Sensations were trying to accomplish.
The theme of encouraging others seemed to be the woven into the evening as John Gotti gave a testimony of his successes following his release from prison in 2010.
“If you need a witness, just look at me.”
After release, he began making and selling t-shirts and now has a boutique.
“It’s all a season,” he said. “Be a positive example.”
Ludye Wallace, who made a presentation to Nathan Haddox, recognized the ability to stand strong.
“This is a unique set of circumstances,” Wallace said. “Most people want children to follow in their footsteps and he [Nathan] is there just like his father was, early to arrive and last to leave. Thanks you for years of support.”
Howard Gentry, Jr. also made a presentation.
“I want to say something about Milton,” said Gentry. “People like Milton have stayed the course to provide good clean fun, hire people and keep this area a place of moving forward. It’s about more than what the honorees do. Look at how these people are making a difference in employing people and impacting lives.”
When Steve Ganaway was honored, his words were an encouragement for others to help someone else.
“If somebody didn’t’ help me, where would I be?” Ganaway asked. “As a funeral director and owner of a funeral home—I don’t like what I do, burying kids because of violence! I look back where I came from and I thank a probation officer for keeping me straight. They don’t have to be Black or White and not even yours. We have to help those coming behind you. It’s not about you.”
The insight into the honoree’s contributions stayed true to the theme of the evening, which was “giving to the community by ensuring that each person does their part in their area of expertise.”