9th Annual Peekskill Juneteenth Toast of Elegance Gala

Acknowledging 400 years of Africans in America (1619 – 2019)”

Peekskill, NY – April 22, 2019 – We will be celebrating the 154th Anniversary of Juneteenth, and acknowledging 400 years of Africans in America (1619 – 2019), on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Little did anyone know that June 19, 1865 would become a celebrated holiday throughout the United States in commemoration of the day that Texas slaves learned that they were free. It took a small army of men led by Major General Gordon Granger who arrived in Galveston, Texas carrying news that the war had ended and that all slaves were now free. This historic event took place more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation had become official. Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day” or “Emancipation Day”, is a holiday created in the United States to honor, and celebrate African American ancestry, history, achievements, and struggles. Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The Peekskill Juneteenth Heritage Committee is hosting its ninth Toast of Elegance Gala on Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 7pm – 11pm at The Mansion at Colonial Terrace, Cortlandt Manor, NY in honor of the three Grand Marshals who have been selected to lead the 2019 Peekskill Juneteenth Parade and Celebration which will be held on Saturday, June 15, 2019. The parade will begin at Noon, with the Riverfront Celebration beginning at 2:00 PM.

The Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins, NYS Senate Majority Leader

Ms. Stewart-Cousins is the first female Senate Majority Leader in NY History.


Rupert “Ted” Bitter – Proprietor of the Bean Runner Café in Peekskill

Since 2005 Mr. Bitter has been volunteering his time as Coach of the Westchester Striders Track & Field Club.


Wilfredo Morel – Director of Hispanic Health, Hudson River Healthcare *

Mr. Morel is also the Executive Director of the non-profit ARTS 10566


* Hudson River Healthcare is happy to be having their Founding Mother, The Reverend Jeannette Phillips, and the families of the other Founding Mothers, Mary Woods, Pearl Woods and Willie Mae Jackson as their guests at this year’s Gala.

The Toast of Elegance Gala will begin at 7pm with a cocktail hour buffet and cash bar, followed by a Champagne Toast and a formal plated dinner, followed by music and dancing. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are $75 each. Reservations can be made by contacting the Peekskill Juneteenth Heritage Committee at: peekskilljuneteenth@gmail.com. Checks are payable to: City of Peekskill, with Juneteenth Committee written on the memo line. All proceeds go towards the Peekskill Juneteenth Parade and Celebration.

4/22/19 ###