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All-Star Gospel Celebration

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Tomeka Holyfield

In 2006, my journey as an entrepreneur took an unexpected turn, guided by the unwavering compass of faith. Recognizing the profound impact of faith in my life, I embarked on a mission to create something extraordinary—a gospel celebration to kick off NBA All-Star Weekend. Little did I know that this endeavor would become a testament to overcoming adversity, finding purpose in serving others, and, above all, trusting in my faith.

As a woman with friends, brothers of friends, and husbands playing in the NBA, I intimately understood the immense contributions these individuals made to their communities. Beyond the courts, they invested their time, talent, and treasures to create positive ripples in the places and spaces where they played. This insight inspired the vision of a celebration that would blend music, entertainment, and awards to honor these players and acknowledge the far-reaching impact of their endeavors off the court.

And so, the All-Star Gospel Celebration was born.

Fast forward to 2024, and we are preparing for the 17th annual event at the iconic Madam Walker Legacy Center. The choice of venue holds profound significance. Madam CJ Walker, a trailblazer ahead of her time, serves as a beacon of inspiration. Recognizing the unique needs of the Black community, particularly Black women, she pioneered a hair care system tailored for them. What set her apart was not just her entrepreneurial success but her commitment to reinvesting her profits back into her community.

Madam Walker channeled her business profits into scholarships, supported the NAACP, contributed to the Black YMCA, and backed charities aimed at uplifting her Black neighbors. Every success she achieved became an opportunity to reinvest in those around her, especially other women. Her legacy mirrors the ethos of the All-Star Gospel Celebration, where success is not just about personal achievements but about creating opportunities to celebrate and advance others.

As an entrepreneur, my journey has been marked by adversity and resilience over my nearly two-decade tenure leading the All-Star Gospel Celebration. Yet, each year we gather for this event, I am reminded that I am living my purpose. This NBA Kick-Off event takes us to cities across the country, providing a platform to meet local leaders, elevate small business owners, and recognize those contributing their time, talents, and treasures to enhance their communities.

Indianapolis, the backdrop for our 17th annual celebration, is no exception. In the heart of this vibrant city, we witness individuals embodying the spirit of giving back that has guided my journey. Through the challenges and triumphs, I have found solace and strength in knowing that my work aligns with a greater purpose.

As we approach the 17th Annual All-Star Gospel Celebration in Indianapolis, there’s an intentional effort to collaborate with diverse businesses. By building a team of diversely-owned businesses, we aim to make this event a true reflection of our audience—a diverse tapestry of people who appreciate gospel music, deeply care about community investment, and those who simply want to be part of the celebration of Black excellence during All-Star Weekend.

I invite you to join us at the All-Star Gospel Celebration on February 15 at the Madam Walker Legacy Center, starting at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online. Let us come together to celebrate faith, resilience, purpose, and the vibrant diversity that makes Indianapolis truly exceptional. See you there!

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