Toasting A New Harlem Partnership With The Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center’s Humanitarian Awards

September 30, 2020

As Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too joins other New York City restaurants in preparing to reopen for indoor dining this week,

the famed Harlem restaurant is also preparing to share one of its prized recipes to benefit one of Harlem’s largest community-based organizations.

The unique partnership brings together two sectors that have struggled mightily throughout the Coronavirus pandemic – local restaurants and not-for-profit organizations. Both sides are hoping that by joining forces, they will each be able to expand their supporter bases.

Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too will serve as the official Signature Drink sponsor for the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center’s Humanitarian Awards “A Virtual Affair” Gala on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020, by sharing its famed Spoonbread Punch recipe with all individuals who purchase a ticket to the benefit.

The event will honor six New Yorkers who have provided exceptional leadership and unfailing dedication to communities and individuals in need. The awards, the Humanitarian Medal and the Community Leadership Award, are named after the Bowen Center’s founder Mrs. Emma Bowen, and are presented to individuals whose efforts epitomize her legacy. The event will serve as a benefit for the Bowen Center, that provides comprehensive mental and behavioral health addictive support and other community services in a caring environment to over 30,000 clients annually.

  • Janice HuffNBC 4 New York Chief Meteorologist, who in addition to providing accurate weather forecasts for New Yorkers for the past 25-years, has been a passionate supporter of New York City foster children;
  • Mark Goldsmith, Founder of Getting Out and Staying Out, a citywide nonprofit, Mr. Goldsmith has helped more than 10,000 formerly incarcerated and justice-involved young men access education, achieve emotional well-being and secure meaningful employment;
  • Cynthia DiBartolo, Founder and CEO of Tigress Financial Partners, an out of the box thinker, Ms. DiBartolo has over 30-years of accomplishment-laden practice working in finance for Fortune 500 companies. After surviving head and neck cancer, she founded Tigress Financial Partners, a woman owned and operated Financial Services Firm sensitive to people with disabilities.
  • Wendy Hilliard, A trailblazer in women’s Olympic and community sports, Ms. Hilliard has provided free and low-cost gymnastics for over 18,000 urban youth in New York City and Detroit through the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation since 1996;
  • “Doctor” Bob Lee, In addition to spinning the very best R&B and classic soul on New York radio since the mid-1980’s on WBLS, where he also serves as the Director of Community Affairs, Bob Lee founded Make the Grade Foundation, to facilitate and encourage academic achievement through community programs—tutoring, mentoring and motivating young students, as well as funding.
  • Uché Blackstock, MD,  A Board-certified Emergency Medicine physician who cares for patients on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and serves as an advocate in her role as Founder & CEO of Advancing Health Equity, which partners with healthcare and related organizations to address racial health disparities.

The Spoonbread Punch recipe will be emailed to individuals who purchase a ticket to the Humanitarian Awards event, so that they can obtain the ingredients and make the signature drink in advance of the virtual gala. The email will also include a link to a video demonstration on how to make the drink by Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too’s owner, Ms. Norma Darden. The recipe will also be made available to attendees on the night of the event and the demonstration will be shown as part of the “Red Carpet” preview.

“We are so pleased to be working with Ms. Darden and Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too,” said Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center Board Chair, Patricia C. Jordan. “In what has been a difficult year for our City, especially for our local restaurants, the Bowen Center was committed to working with a local restaurant as part of the Humanitarian Awards virtual gala, to reinforce our ongoing commitment to being a community-based organization. As Ms. Darden and Mrs. Bowen were friends, this unique partnership has a wonderful background history.”

“I am so honored that the Spoonbread Punch will serve as the Signature Drink for the Humanitarian Awards Virtual Gala,“ said Ms. Darden. “The Bowen Center continues to be a beacon for the Harlem community, and I thrilled to be able to take part in an event that highlights Emma Bowen’s legacy.”

Related: Patricia C. Jordan Talks Harlem’s Emma Bowen On The Danny Tisdale Show (Audio)

The Bowen Center’s Virtual Affair broadcast will kick-off at 6:30 p.m. with a “Red Carpet” preview event, sponsored by Riverton Square, featuring the music of harpist Alfrae Johnson-Ragins. The “Virtual Affair” gala will launch at 7:00 pm and will be hosted by WBLS on-air personality “Doctor” Bob Lee, also a 2020 honoree. In addition to the awards presentations, the gala will feature Bowen Center client success stories, live music performances by the Willie Mack Jazz Band and numerous vignettes on Bowen Center programs and services.

For further information on the Humanitarian Awards, please visit

The Bowen Center serves over 30,000 clients annually through its therapeutic preschool for children with behavioral and developmental issues; outpatient mental health services for children and adolescents; programs for adults & seniors with mental health and dependency recovery; a 20-bed residential chemical abuse recovery facility, and a food pantry program that serves over 21,000 packages of food annually.

Established by Norma Jean Darden Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread Too has been serving up the best authentic Southern cuisine in New York City since 1997. Located on W. 110th St. in Morningside Heights/Harlem, the iconic restaurant has drawn numerous dignitaries including three US Presidents – Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Miss Mamie’s theme “You Don’t Have to Go Home for Home Cooking” rings through with its rich culture of Southern Food, such as tried-and-true classics like baked turkey wings, homemade meatloaf, Louisiana catfish and amazing desserts like red velvet cake and peach cobbler.

Photo credit: Emma L. Bowen.

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