Alton’s inaugural Midwest Best of Black gala huge success

ALTON – With more than 5,000 votes cast, Black Excellence was recognized by the inaugural Midwest Best of Black Awards Gala.

K Miller Collection, an event design company owned by Kidada Miller, originally from Alton, now Granite City, was the presenting company for the Midwest Best of Black Awards. Miller, who was voted Entrepreneur of the Year at the gala, shared duties with Jason Harrison of LaMay’s Catering, where the gala was held on February 25 at 909 E. Broadway in Alton.

Tameter Ward of Alton opened the show with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the black national anthem, an anthem written in 1900 as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson. Jesse Prather was the event musician.

Speakers included Danuta Holmes, Gigi Smith-Scott, Tomieka Carter, Evangeline Hughes, Rae Lee, Marlana Foster, Dr. Tracy W-Cooley, Candice Wallace and Tia Ingram.

“This is definitely an annual event,” Miller said.

Miller’s office at K Miller Collections is located at 200 W. 3rd St., Suite 310, in Alton. She founded the company in 2021, but has been designing events for more than 25 years.

For more information or to nominate an individual, non-profit organization or company for the 2024 Midwest Best of Black Awards, email midwestbes[email protected]. A website is currently under construction.

Voting began in January among the top three nominees in multiple categories.

Guests and nominees enjoyed appetizers and an African dance performance.

Riverbend winners from the top three nominees in each category include:

• Best Caterer: Lala’s Kitchen

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• Best lawn care: Lawn and garden care for all seasons

• Best Teacher: Candice Wallace

• Best Auto Repair: Jeremy Clemons

• Best Food Truck: Ray’s soul-stirring tacos

• Best Dance Coach: J’khiri Evans

• Best Event Designer: S&R Custom Creations

• Best Venue: C&K Banquet Center

• Best Medical Supplies and Accessories: Forever Brittany Scrubs and more

• School’s Best Paraprofessional: Tanisha Jones

• Best Customer Service: Slurped Daiquiri

• Best Body Bar: Blink Beautifully with Seawee

• Best Photographer: Cedric Parker Photography

• Best Hairdresser: Kingdom Kutz

• Best Hairstylist: Cherrie Smith

• Best Hair Braider: Cierra the Stylist

• Best Makeup Artist: Touched by envy

• Best nail technique: Nisha did it

• Best Funeral Home: Cathy & Sons Funeral Home

• Best Soul Food: Lovett’s Soul Food

• Best Personal/Virtual Assistant: Simple Solutions

• Best Lash Tech: Blink beautifully with Seawee

• Best Tax Professional: Tax Spirit

• Best Boutique: Blaxx Jewlez

• Best Baker: My Just Desserts

• Best Entertainer: Jesse Prather Jr.

• Best Author: Christian Cashelle

• Best Bar/Lounge: Slurped Daiquiri

• Best Jewelry Designer: Sharee Clay

• Best Life Coach: Jesse Walker

• Best Day Spa: Blink Beautifully with Seawee

• Best Treat Baker: Candace Lovett

• Best Plumber: Germaine Wallace

• Best Electrician: Romelle Shepard

• Best Personal Trainer: Aaron Scott

• Best Real Estate Agent: Dream Home Realty Center

• Best Nonprofit Organization: A valuable organization

• Best DJ: DJ Steeno Johnathan Steen Sr.

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• Best HVAC Technician: Tyrone Foster

• Best Female Attorney: Ebony Huddleston

• Entrepreneur of the Year: Kidada Miller

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