World’s Famous “Impressions” to highlight Probation Challenge’s Annual Extravaganza Event

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 Alsip, IL - The world’s “Famous”, “Fabulous”, “Never Ending Impressions” will light up the International Stage at Probation Challenge’s Annual “Portraits of Achievers” gala extravaganza this weekend at the Condesa del Mar.

Probation Challenge will celebrate 31 successful years – and counting – in helping troubled youth, and the organization, along with hundreds of attendees, will be “Ridin’ High” in the spirit of the Impressions’ nostalgic repertoire of doo-wop, gospel, soul and R&B. Gospel Singer Calvin Bridges will also perform on the “Show of Shows” stage, a popular segment of the annual event.

The “Portraits of Achievers” Gala/Awards event will be held Friday, August 20, 2010 at the Condesa del Mar, 12200 S. Cicero Ave. in Alsip, Illinois, beginning at 7 p.m. Parking is free.

Reverend Harold E. Bailey, Founder and President of Probation Challenge, said he’s elated and overwhelmed that his program has helped thousands and thousands of young people since its inception in 1979, and strongly noted that it will continue steadfast in that mission even though the program has been scaled back since leaving the Olive-Harvey campus after twenty-seven years of being there.

Bailey, former Chairman of the Cook County Corrections Board, said he never gets tired and weary of working with young people because “they are our future.”

This year’s honorees are Clarence Glover and Marvin Forbish. Both awardees have been “a blessing down through the many years with Probation Challenge,” said Bailey, noting that many of those years were absent of dollars and of “charging us anything…they’ve worked hard in the trenches with us.” Presidential Awards will be presented to some doctors. Award presenters are Journalists Juanita Bratcher and Chinta Strausberg.

When asked what has been the hardest thing the program has encountered in 31 years, Bailey said it was the “illegal eviction” of his program from the Olive-Harvey College campus.

“For 27 years, we were located on the campus of Olive-Harvey College. And you know, sometimes we take things for granted. We were sending thousands, and thousands and thousands of young people back into society as meaningful and productive people. That was a joy of my work.

“It was a downside when we were illegally evicted from the campus, not for me, because I was at the point of retirement. But I saw these young people being thrown back into the streets. And as they were put back into the streets, it viciously hurt me because I know the inside of these young folk…what they’re thinking. I know how they tick. And many of them went back into the streets and resumed old behavior, crime, etc.

“One time, while watching TV, I saw two of my young folk that had been arrested for a crime. That hurt. That went straight to the fabric of where I am spiritually with this thing. That’s when I decided that I would resume (the program). I would do it on a limited scale, and we did. That’s because all of these people, my sons and my daughters are now out there in the streets, and they’re not getting the love, care and concern that they have an entitlement to have…and that really hurts.” 

Bailey has dedicated 35 years to helping young people.  He emphasized that he has no intentions of calling it quits or walking away from his vision that has helped so many.

For more information about the event, call (773) 978-3706.

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