By: Emily Guiles
It was an emotional start to the 2015 Beat Awards on Saturday November 21st. The event is put together by 103.7 the Beat radio station each year, and attracts a glamorous crowd of Muskegon Community Members. And has attracted bigger names in the lime light, such as Fonzworth Bentley who hosted this years Beat Awards. Known for his roles in “Fat Albert”, “Honey”, “Think like a man too”, and was a hit at the 2015 Beat Awards.
Also present at the Beat Awards was Muskegon born rapper Mickey Wallace, who performed a rap about Muskegon for the audience, which set a high energy tone for the night.
At the beginning of the Award show the board members of 103.7 the Beat took the stage for a surprise award presented to Radio Station head Paul Billings. The board members spoke about the tremendous importance of the Beat Awards in the city of Muskegon, and about the important role that the Beat radio station and Billings himself play in the community.
Thus the board found it appropriate to present Billings with his own Beat Award, presented to him by his daughters and mother.
Also honored was Billings’ right hand man Robert Roundtree (Big Rob) who helps to keep the radio station afloat.
It was an emotional beginning that set the bar for all the Beat Awards to come.
The audience was also serenated by the duo “Surface” who also performed for the Beat Award’s most extraordinary couple, Mr. and Mrs. Rodney Savage. There were only 6 points that separated the nominees.
Some of the other winners included; Eric Hood for Outstanding Community Leader, Hood said , “I try to do as much as I can,” for his community and its members.
Terrance Stewart beat new mayor Kim Sims for the Local Activist award. And the winners for the best beauty salon was Unity Salon and Spa, Joann Johnson, Jemikia, and Alyssa Little were present to accept the award, and were honored just to be nominated.
A new category at this years award show was Extraordinary Parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sim Ray received the award for this category and the audience was given a chance to see the video that their family submitted as the nomination.
The winner of Best Mentor was Jeanette Foster, who thanked God and everyone who voted for her, she also offered a little encouragement to everyone in the crowd, “everyone in this room tonight has a purpose.”
Nicole Bradford was given the award for Young Professional on the Move. Bradford is a Medical Assistant, and teaches Medical Terminology with Western Michigan University. Before her win Bradford said that it was an honor and a humbling experience to be nominated, she also said, “win or lose I’m glad to of been thought of.”
One of the most meaningful awards of the night was the Joe Clifford Heroes Award, presented by prosecutor DJ Hilson. Laura Clifford, the widow of Joe Clifford, who the award is named after, was also present on stage. Clifford died in a fire while rescuing children from the flames.
The winner of the Joe Clifford Heroes Award was Jarvis Levelston who, in July of 2013 rescued a family who was trapped in their burning home. Jarvis stood under the trapped family while the mother slowly lowered each of her children down to him. Jarvis then helped the mother to safety as well. In his acceptance speech Jarvis stated that if he were in that situation again he wouldn’t hesitate.