by Mellissa Thomas
Former pro athlete turned entrepreneur and philanthropist Dorian Boyland knows how to give charity the red carpet treatment it deserves. His annual All White Party, benefiting the Trayvon Martin Foundation, kicked off at 10 p.m. at his Orlando residence Saturday with not one or two, but four fifty-two-seat coach buses shuttling registered guests from the designated parking area into his gated community. Guests alighted and walked onto the grand stone-laid driveway lavished with three brand new white Mercedes-Benzes, courtesy of his highly successful Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando dealership, and two Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando step-and-repeats. The real treat, however, was the five-person welcoming party lined up at the door, which included the party’s hostess, renowned civil trial attorney Natalie Jackson, Esq. (who graces Orlando Style’s September 2015 cover as part of Orlando’s legal elite), and Dorian Boyland himself.
In case guests didn’t get the opportunity to snap photos outside, Boyland had a white Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando step-and-repeat inside, in the room just to the left of the door, with an event photographer at the ready to take everyone’s photos.
Boyland’s palatial home was modified to accommodate the anticipated crowd: all of the major casements, and the doors leading to the back patio, were completely removed. The abode overflowed with Orlando’s upper echelon and networking bigwigs, including retired Disney executive Bob Billingslea, Raise Your Glass Promotions CEO Gigi Moorman, National Circle of Friends CEO Paul Stevens, Christian media personality Pam Powell, and Central Florida Urban League Chairman Wesley Harris.
Boyland’s Phenomenal Party
The deejay played old school and current R&B and Hip Hop hits to keep the crowd buzzing, and Boyland’s home offered three drink bars to keep everyone feeling good: one to the right of the front door, one on the back patio, and one upstairs, all meticulously ensconced in frosted white blocks with blue lights shining through them to give the house a cool hue. The dance floor in the heart of the house was covered white and accented with LED black lights.
The stage, which awaited veteran jazz “Saxtress” Pamela Williams and R&B legend Freddie Jackson, was built atop Boyland’s emptied stone-hewn pool.
At 11:38 p.m. Boyland graced the stage and introduced Williams (below), who wowed the overflowing house with her artistry and brazen style. The Afro-sporting songbird wore a white leather corset-style top with white cutoff daisy dukes and white cuff wedges, her ears and wrists boasting heavy metal to match her music machine.
Williams played several smooth jazz hits, an original track from The Look of Love, her Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick tribute album, and brought the house down with Frankie Beverly & Maze’s hit, “Before I Let Go.”
At 12:25 a.m., the man of the hour arrived and knocked everyone’s socks off. The dapper 30-year R&B veteran Freddie Jackson (below), now 170 pounds lighter, pulled out every hit in his arsenal, including “I Could Use a Little Love (Right Now),” “Hey Lover,” “Tasty Love,” “Rock Me Tonight (For Old Times Sake),” “Jam Tonight,” “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” and “You Are My Lady.”
He also paid homage to the late Luther Vandross, singing part of “Bad Boy (Having a Party)” and closed with The Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around.” He even handed out roses to several women in the audience.
Jackson then announced some news many fans have been waiting years to hear: he has a new album on the way and is currently promoting it. “I’ve done seven gigs in the last four days,” he noted.
Partying Pretty with a Purpose
At approximately 1:30 a.m., after Jackson’s performance, Boyland transitioned into the real reason for the gathering: philanthropy. Attorney Jackson graced the stage with Boyland, Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton, and the family’s attorney Benjamin Crump.
Boyland, through Mercedes-Benz of South Orlando and his nonprofit Boyz 4 Life, LLC, presented the Central Florida Urban League (CFUL) with a check for $16,640. CFUL Chairman Wesley Harris and media personality Yolanda Cade gratefully accepted the check, and in return announced that the CFUL is awarding Boyland with the Community Business Award for his steadfast contributions to and work in the community.
Boyland also awarded the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s Delta Xi Lambda Chapter with $10,000 to benefit its 2015 scholarship fund.
Sybrina Fulton thanked Boyland and the audience for unwavering support for the Trayvon Martin Foundation, and mentioned how important people like Boyland are—the ones who help keep the fight going.
“Boyland started supporting the Trayvon Martin Foundation in 2012 and has every year since,” Attorney Crump told Orlando Fashion Magazine. “As I go around the country defending the invisible Trayvon Martins of the world, it’s people like Boyland who are so critical to the success of what we’re doing, providing support behind the scenes.”
All photos by Mellissa Thomas except where otherwise noted.
About the Author:
Orlando Fashion Magazine Chief Editor Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She is also an author coach, helping advisors, coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs, and experts double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book via her Inevitable AUTHORity(™) Author Mentoring Program.
She has published six books, all available on Amazon.com. Her newest book, From a Babe 2.0, will be released on the Kindle September 22, 2015..
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