Friday, October 16, 2009

The Launch of IE2 Magazine

The title needs some explanation because the "2" in the title means "squared" and the keyboard had no way of typing that...and then what does "IE" mean anyway?
So, let's just think of the words "Inspire, Enrich and Empower" and you've got the gist of the whole thing.

This magazine was Alonzo Mourning's idea, as he was looking for a way to empower the teens here in get them working on something meaningful that would give them confidence, along with the working knowledge of how to put together a great looking magazine. The teens would be the stars here. They would be the models, the story tellers, the writers and even the solicitors of the big money, the thousands of dollars needed to make the project go.

So, now you have these kids from the inner city, many who come from impoverished homes and you consider how you are going to interest them in a summer-long project which will keep them off the streets, away from the malls, away from bad influences. So, Alonzo Mourning, in his brilliance, called on the most exciting magazine publisher he could think of-none other than Jerry Powers of the glamour queen "Ocean Drive" Magazine.

Now, you may be thinking-What in the world does the inner city have to do with glamour? What kind of a fit is this? What values are these teens going to learn?
Well, the answer to that is everything! Powers summoned all the best of his "Ocean Drive" staff to volunteer their time mentoring these teens and, in fact,it turned out to be a perfect match.

My dear friend Fifi Castany was the editor-in-chief for the project and the lengthy hours she devoted to it made her worthy of my extreme admiration. I was copy editor for the project and for the first time in my life, actually enjoyed editing for no money!

I had just returned from the southwest when I was summoned to Jerry's Power Play Studio in midtown and first thing I saw were familiar faces greeting me. There were Jenny and Alejandra and Carolina and so many others from Ocean Drive en Espanol and they all seemed delighted with the project. Fifi must have spent a hundred hours with Leo, the art director for the project, and we ourselves spent a few hours at Taste Bakery doing the final edits as we neared the end.

Sure, there were complaints here and there. As with all lengthy projects, sometimes you just throw your hands up in the air and you think, hey, will this ever get done? Then, you go to the launch party as we all did last night, and you hold the fresh glossy magazine in your hands, and you laugh as you watch the teen who was lucky enough to model for the cover signing autographs, and you listen as Alonzo Mourning congratulates the teens, and you witness all the happy faces, and you eat the designer cake, and take the pictures, and you get to go home and see yourself and everyone else on the 11 o'clock news, and you smile.

Yes, you can say that some history was made last night and I am so very happy to be a part of that history.

Photos as you see them: Designer cake says it, Alonzo Mourning, Jerry Powers, Fifi Castany and daughter Elizabeth, Fifi and I with some of the group, Jerry Powers with the teens