The Bonnets of Easter

By AMANDA MOSES

On March 29th, State Committeewoman Nikki Lucas and Congressman Hakeem Jeffries hosted their second annual Easter Luncheon and Hat Pageant in the Brooklyn Sports Club’s (BSC) gymnasium. This much anticipated event kicked off the Easter celebration with bright bonnets, dapper hats, intricate attire, delicious food, and music.

Prior to entering the festive affair, attendees were greeted by volunteers who asked them to sign up for the hat pageant (which was divided into two contests, the women’s Dazzling Bonnet and men’s Dashing Hat) and gave away free raffle tickets.  

The BSC’s gymnasium was bustling with music and the laughter of hundreds of people from all over East New York (close 400 people attended the event). Many of those in attendance were Spring Creek Towers’ residents and members of community groups like JASA, Spring Creek Senior Partners, Starrett City Tenants Association, and the Starrett City-Spring Creek Lions Club Inc.

Mistress of Ceremonies, Lisa Lashley had the crowd in stitches with her vivacious personality and sweet sense of humor. She made everyone feel welcomed and announced to the crowd, “This is a crowd participation event, so I want people getting involved clapping, dancing, signing up for the pageant, and grabbing raffle tickets,” Lashley said enthusiastically into a microphone.

The event was truly a celebratory occasion, not just for Easter and Passover but a festivity honoring friendship and community. There was music mixed by a DJ, which had many of the senior attendees shimming and shaking to disco classics, uplifting religious songs sung by the Penn-Wortman Choir, and elegant ballet dancing by members of the Brooklyn Ballet.

The pageant was the final portion of the event, which and was judged by real Kings County Judges: Hon. Robin Sheares, Hon. Lisa S. Ottley, Hon. Carolyn Wade, Hon. Ingrid Joseph, Hon. Evelyn Laporte and others. Each of these respectable judges donned their own fashionable hats, so aside from judging court cases these ladies knew all about style and how to critique hats. In addition to the pageant, raffle winners received an assortment of prizes, some being hats created by Shellie McDowell, a Brooklyn based designer.

During the celebration, State Committeewoman Nikki Lucas stood in front of the crowd and looked at all of those in attendance with pride and humility as she thanked everyone who helped her make this event a success. She thanked Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (who could not attend the event because he was in the Middle East but had representation there) and the various partners who helped, including Millennium Development, Tradition Home Care, Brooklyn Sports Club, JIG Media, EastNewYork.com, New Wave Dance, Brooklyn Ballet and more.

Photos by Amanda Moses