The annual "Pop" Lloyd Weekend returns to the area for the 18th time this weekend, and, as usual, Harrah's Entertainment is playing a vital role celebrating history and honoring local legends.
All of the events are coordinated between Harrah's, Richard Stockton College and the John Henry "Pop" Lloyd Committee, which preserves and amplifies the historical legacy of Baseball Hall of Famer John Henry Lloyd, an Atlantic City legend who played Negro League baseball.
"There has been a long-term commitment starting back with Bally's Atlantic City when Pop Lloyd Stadium was refubrished," says Karlos R. LaSane II, an Atlantic City native who is now regional vice president of government relations for Harrah's Entertainment. "And as corporate acquisitions have happened over the years, I have been steadfast - whether it was Park Place Entertainment, Caesars Entertainment or Harrah's Entertainment - that we remain steadfast with this very worthwhile organization."
LaSane, who remembers meeting Lloyd as a child, says the weekend is not only important to honor a hometown hero, but to continue Lloyd's legacy.
"The things he was able to accomplish on the field were tremendous, and his true potential was never realized because he couldn't play in the major leagues because of racism," says LaSane about Lloyd, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame posthumously. "But the entire community - not just the black community - should rally around the organization because of its strong commitment to educating our youth and honoring sports and political immortals, as well as humanitarians."
The events begin 8 a.m. Friday, Oct. 1, with a sports symposium, "American Legends: Crossing the Color Barrier," at Stockton's Performing Arts Center in Galloway Township. The symposium, which is free and celebrating its eighth year, will feature journalist Claire Smith, whose speech is titled "Race and Gender: Perspectives Through the Press Box."
Other speakers include James Hirsch, author of "Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend;" Dawn Knight, biographer of George Taliaferro, the first African-American drafted by the NFL, and Tim Gay, author of "Satch, Dean, & Rapid Robert."
The centerpiece event, the "Pop" Lloyd Humanitarian and Youth Awards dinner will be held 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 at Bally's Atlantic City, which is owned by Harrah's. The gala, which is subsidized by a grant from the Harrah's Foundation, pays tribute to Lloyd and those who played Negro League baseball. The Humanitarian Award will be presented to Taliaferro, and Caroline "Cookie" Till, of Steve & Cookie's in Margate.
Also, area high-school students will be recognized for their character, community commitment and academic achievements. Baseball Hall of Famers Monte Irvin and Emilio Navarro will also attend the dinner.
On Sunday, Oct. 3, a 10 a.m. church service will be held at the Asbury United Methodist church in Atlantic City, where Lloyd was a member. After the service, a 1 to 3 p.m. artist reception will be held at the Atlantic City Art Center to showcase the art exhibit, "Pop Lloyd & the Northside." For more information on the art show, go to Page 30.
LaSane hopes that "Pop" Lloyd Weekend expands to include more regional events in the future.
"The City of Atlantic City and the greater Atlantic City region should embrace this organization with both arms," LaSane says. "I want to see this grow into the larger celebration that it should be." Call 609-513-2783.
premiere wine dinner
Wine aficionados and foodies will certainly not want to miss a one-of-a-kind dinner at Morton's The Steakhouse, located inside Caesars Atlantic City, 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7.
Morton's and the third and fourth generations of Napa Valley's famed Mondavi family are teaming up for a nationwide wine dinner and charity auction at the Charles Krug Winery Carriage House in Napa Valley, Calif., to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The gathering, the first of its kind in Mondavi family history, will celebrate the Mondavis' 90-plus years in the business, and the California celebration will be broadcast to 53 Morton's private dining rooms via satellite.
The evening's hosts will include Michael Mondavi of Folio Fine Wine Partners, Tom Mondavi and Marcia Mondavi Borger of Continuum Estate, and Peter Mondavi Sr., Peter Mondavi Jr. and Marc Mondavi of Charles Krug Winery.
An online auction of the first-ever red wine produced by the extended Mondavi family - The Legendary Prima - will kick off the evening. The 27-liter bottle is a blend of Napa-grown cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet Franc and petit Verdot, made particularly for the event.
Guests in all of Morton's locations will be served the same menu and wine as guests at the Carriage House.
The Atlantic City event will be hosted by Nicole Niebisch of Folio Fine Wine Partners, and a silent auction will be held for a three-pack of premium wines from Charles Krug and Continuum.
The menu will include smoked salmon wedges, tenderloin crostinis and miniature crab cakes at the reception paired with Charles Krug Sauvignon Blanc, 2009. A harvest green salad topped with sea bass will be paired with Isabel Mondavi Sonoma Carneros chardonnay, 2008. A New York strip sirloin with sides will be paired with Continuum, 2007, M by Michael Mondavi, 2006, and Krug's cabernet, 2006. Dessert will be paired with Krug zinfandel port.
Dinner is $175 per person. Call 609-449-1044.
Casting call in A.C.
Stefanie Ryan of Weist-Barron-Ryan Casting in Atlantic City will host a non-union open casting call for "Growing Up Laughing with Eddie Murphy," a movie based on the memoir by Murphy's childhood friend, Harris Haith, 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7. Bring a resume and snapshot to the casting office, 2921 Atlantic Ave.
Mixx, located inside Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, hosted Jermaine Dupri's 38th birthday party last weekend. The music mogul spent the night spinning for the sold-out crowd before blowing out the candles on his vegan birthday cake.
Dusk, located inside Caesars, hired Danny Masterson - DJ Mom Jeans - to spin music, but the surprise of the night came when his friends, members of the rock band The Strokes, showed up unannounced.
Resorts Atlantic City will get more national exposure following Jimmy Smits' "Outlaw," which premiered recently featuring scenes that were filmed this summer at the casino. Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods," came to the casino to tape his latest MSN webseries, "Appetite for Life: Curbside Cuisine." The award-winning webseries, which its producers say is viewed by 40 million people, features Zimmern traveling to various locations trying food that he has never tried before, and then doing something he has never done before. In Resorts' case, the chef was trained by table games management and dealers on how to deal a blackjack tournament. Then, he dealt to players at a tournament.
- Scott Cronick