[members-announce] Houston Person Concert

Kathleen Mathieu kmathieu at trwg.com
Wed Aug 11 13:25:21 EDT 2004

Houston Person At 51st "Garden Party"

The 51st Annual Garden Party of the Friends of W.F. Willoughby will be 
held on Sunday, September 26, 2004 in the Learning Center of Englewood 
Hospital and Medical Center at 4 PM.

The event will include a concert by the internationally acclaimed tenor 
saxophonist Houston Person and the Houston Person Quartet, the formal 
announcement of the recipients of two nursing scholarships funded by 
the Garden Party, and a reception with refreshments.  The Friends, jazz 
lovers, fans of Houston Person, and supporters of the Medical Center 
attend the Garden Party each year.

Last year’s VIP guests included bassist Rufus Reid, WBGO commentator 
and jazz historian Bob Porter, and distinguished community members such 
as Englewood residents Theodore Hinton, Esq., who passed away in 2004, 
and Bertha Banton, the last surviving charter member of the Friends.
	Houston Person’s talent, powerful stage presence and extensive 
international performance schedule have earned him a place in music 
history and the dedication of fans around the world.  He has recorded 
more than 75 albums playing with such legendary greats as Eddie Harris 
and Cedar Walton and has been a guest artist on recordings with Lou 
Rawls, Lena Horne and many others.  Three of his most recent albums are 
Blue Velvet, Soft Lights, and Dialogues, a recording of duets with 
bassist Ron Carter.  Mr. Person is also a distinguished record producer 
and bandleader.  Before her passing in 2001, he performed at the Garden 
Party with Etta Jones, his musical partner of 30 years.

For more information about the Garden Party and to reserve a seat, call 
201-567-3961.  Advance reservations are requested.  Sponsors and 
Patrons who respond by September 6 will have their names listed in the 
program.  The mailing address for reservations and donations is:  51st 
Annual Garden Party, Friends of Dr. W.F. Willoughby, 78 Amsterdam 
Avenue, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666.  The cost per person is $50 
(Sponsor), $45 (Patron), $35 (Friend), $20, $5 (Student).  All checks 
should be made payable to the Friends of Dr. W.F. Willoughby.

The Learning Center is located at the north end of the campus of 
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, 350 Engle St, Englewood, New 
Jersey, 07631.  Free parking will be available in front of the 
building.  Directions to the Medical Center are available at  or by 
calling 201-894-3000.

More about the Garden Party…
The Friends of W.F. Willoughby is beginning its second half-century of 
service.  The group is named for W.F. Willoughby, MD, the first African 
American physician at the hospital.  Dr. Willoughby, who died in 1945, 
was widely respected as a physician and humanitarian.  The organization 
was founded in 1953 as a living memorial to him and to carry out his 
commitment to quality healthcare.

“The Friends are a valued part of the tradition of our medical center,” 
said Medical Center president, Douglas Duchak.”  Through the years, the 
Friends have raised money to fund various needed items, including the 
information desk that stood in the hospital’s lobby for many years.

Today, the Friends emulate Dr. Willoughby’s philanthropy by awarding 
scholarships to African American and African nursing students in the 
UMDNJ-RCNJ-EHMC, Joint BSN Partnership Program, a collaborative effort 
by the Medical Center, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New 
Jersey, and Ramapo College.  The amount of the award will be determined 
by ticket sales and donations, some of which come from former community 
members who have moved away.

This year’s recipients are Colette Nyajure, 22, of Sayreville, New 
Jersey and Les Moran, 29, of New City, New York.  Both students are 
completing their last year of training at the Medical Center.

Having learned about the joint nursing program from her aunt, a nurse, 
Colette came to the United States from her homeland of Kenya in 2001 to 
study.  In her family, nursing has become a new tradition.  Two of her 
sisters, Edna and Breta, are also living in the United States as they 
pursue the goal of becoming nurses.  The youngest Nyajure, Kathy, 12, 
plans to break the family mold and become a physician.
Colette, whose tribal name is Anyango, aspires to become a nurse 
practitioner and return to Kenya, a plan largely rooted in the desire 
to help the people of her country in the fight against AIDS, a disease 
which has taken 50 of her relatives.  She feels that as a native Kenyan 
she can especially make a contribution because she understands the 

“I want to get a master’s and be a nurse practitioner so I can help my 
people understand [AIDS],” she explained.  “ Before you can help people 
with AIDS, you have to know where they are coming from.”

Colette was drawn to nursing because of its holistic qualities.  
“Nursing focuses on the whole person.”  Recognizing the need for a good 
nurse to be well rounded, Colette decided to study abroad.  “I wanted 
to see how other people do things and see what will work for people at 

Remarkably focused on her studies, she still yearns for the things of 
home.  She looks forward to graduation next year when her parents, whom 
she misses dearly, will visit.  All the email and phone chats in the 
world cannot take the place of sharing day-to-day life with them.  “So 
often, I wish I could go home and tell my mother about my day,” Colette 
says wistfully.

  The influences of family also have steered Les Moran into a career in 
nursing.  The only African American male in his class at nursing 
school, his personal pathway to nursing has included bachelor and 
master degrees in psychology from Mercy College, and six years as a 
production supervisor at Wyeth Laboratories.  Although he knows many 
nurses, including his mother, Beatrix Moran, RN, a registered nurse at 
Sound Shore Hospital in New Rochelle, New York, and numerous male and 
female friends, deciding to become a nurse was a decision he made as an 
adult in his twenties.

Les has always been interested in the medical sciences, but it was the 
experience of taking care of his grandmother after a stroke that caused 
him to begin thinking of a career in nursing.  In addition, as 
accomplished as he was, Les wanted to do more.
“Sometimes life takes you to a different journey.  I felt I wasn’t 
going anywhere,” he recalls.  “I had defeated all the challenges.”  
When he told his mother about his decision—he waited until he was 
halfway into the first semester to be sure nothing was going to “jinx” 
him—she was thrilled.

He is considering various specialties, including chemical dependency, 
home health, and, maternity, a rotation he enjoyed tremendously.  He is 
willing to be a pioneer, something he has had a taste of as an African 
American male nurse.  His advice to any African American man 
considering a career in nursing is unequivocal and delivered in his 
characteristically upbeat manner, “Come on!  Don’t worry about 
stereotypes.  Come aboard.  It’s a great opportunity.”

A total of 24 scholarships have been awarded to students like Colette 
and Les under the auspices of the Maria C. Davis Scholarship Fund.  
Alfred Wyche, RN, of Jersey City, who graduated from Englewood’s School 
of Nursing in 1996, is a proud recipient.  With a bachelor of arts in 
English from Rutgers University, a master degree in human resources 
management and development from the New School for Social Research, and 
two decades of corporate life behind him, he left a well-established 
career in mid-life to become a nurse.  The Friends were there when he 
needed help most.

Today, Alfred gives back as an active member of the Friends and as an 
operating room nurse at the East Orange Veterans Medical Center.  
Nursing is also a family tradition for his family.  His mother, Hester 
Wyche, RN, is a retired nurse.

Mrs. Davis was founding president of the Friends and a board member for 
what was then Englewood Hospital.  The current president, Jeanne 
Hopewell of Englewood, succeeded Mrs. Davis in 1983.

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