"We're asking anybody to come up with anything," says Ed Swailes, spokesman for Celebrity Hall, 3401 Georgia Ave. NW.
The hall, with a capacity of 500, "is extending its space for some community use," and any proceeds from events held there will go to such local organizations as Black Mothers Against Drugs and the Black Man's Development Center.
Tonight will kick off a 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday series and will feature trumpet player Webster Young and the Lettumplay Jazz Ensemble and other Washington area performers.
But the centerpiece of the evening will be community worker Lillian Green, who will receive the first Celebrity Hall Award for her work with Project Harvest. Del. Walter Fauntroy (D-D.C.) will present the award. Longtime D.C. radio personality Jerry Phillips will be emcee.
"We were looking for someone who had done something in need of accolades," explains Swailes, "and her efforts have grown so much from what she started 15 years ago." In 1970 Green initiated Project Harvest's donation of food to the needy with Thanksgiving baskets. "Now she has truckloads," Swailes says.
"She is very involved in her community, the Shaw area, and a dynamic lady," says blues singer Nap Turner, who will perform tonight with Friends, a sextet led by bassist Chaney Thomas.
Vocalist Mary Jefferson, also on tonight's program, says of Green, "She's a lady with a heart big as all outdoors."