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NAACP to honor celebrities in a debt-paring fund-raiser Ms. Clinton, Ms. Graham among the attractions

THE BALTIMORE SUN

In an attempt to shed some of its $3.2 million in debt, the NAACP will hold a major Washington fund-raiser Tuesday to honor Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Washington Post Chairman Katharine Graham and the group's own chairman, Myrlie Evers-Williams.

The event, "Sisters!," is billed as the first "Pathway to Excellence Award Gala." It will feature entertainment by pianist-composer Marvin Hamlisch, singer Mary Wells and others.

"We hope to raise at least $500,000," said Janice Washington, assistant director of branches and field services. "This is the biggest fund-raiser we've had in D.C. in 20 years."

Julian Bond, a member of the NAACP board, and the Rev. Benjamin L. Hooks, the civil rights group's former executive director, are serving as leadership chairmen of the event.

Several big-name entertainers -- including Michael Douglas, Whoopi Goldberg and Quincy Jones -- have lent their names to the event, which will cost $300 a plate and up.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will also bestow awards on others, including Johnetta Cole, president of Spelman College; Marian Wright Edelman, president the Children's Defense Fund; and two "brothers in support of sisters," Ted Turner of Cable News Network and syndicated columnist Carl T. Rowan.

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