Tyler Perry was so moved and inspired by Whoopi Goldberg’s presentation of the Impact Award at the theatre’s spring benefit on Monday that he made a $500,000 donation to the famed Harlem music hall.
“I want to say, thank you… when you are honoured by a legacy, a history that is as rich as the Apollo, you have to honour that,” he said.
Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill, and Stephanie Mills have all performed at the gala ceremony.
Tyler Perry urged the audience to “remember the history, and there have been some legends on this stage and in this building… “Never take this place for granted,” he said before presenting the generous donation to the theatre.
“I’d like to give a half million to make sure this place continues to grow and thrive. Give it up for the Apollo,” he explained.
The $500,000 donation aided their spring benefit, which was hosted by “Saturday Night Live” cast member Kenan Thompson, in raising a record-breaking $3.7 million.
CEO Jonelle Procope, Phylicia Rashad, Anthony Hamilton, Samuel and LaTanya Jackson, Bevy Smith, and Robert Kraft, who attended with his younger fiancée Dr. Diana Blumberg, were among those in attendance.
The Marching Cobras then led the crowd down 126th Street to an afterparty hosted by celebrity event planner and Apollo Board Member Bronson van Wyck in a makeshift lounge.
DJ Derrick “D-Nice” Jones spun at the party, which was attended by L.A. Reid and Malik Yoba, as well as Sports Illustrated model Saje Nicole.