MS. JOHNSON-THORNTON: Good morning. What a pleasure this is to be considered a living legend. As she said, it was not the beginning purpose, but here we are 27 years later with Belmont Mansion. So it is such a pleasure that I join you to receive the most special honor for which I will treasure always.
I would like to offer my fellow honorees a benefit heartfelt congratulations on their success and their recognition.
I'd like to start out by sharing with you a little bit about our organization, as I have the privilege of serving as President emeritus/CEO of the American Women's Heritage Society and founded in 1986, 27 years ago. In this role, the rich African diaspora has been the foundation and interwoven tapestry of our mission. The American Women's Heritage Society is considered the crown jewel of Fairmount Park. We offer student training and self-guided tours to our Underground Railroad Museum founded, as I said, in 2007, the first of its kind in Philadelphia.
We are a fabulous event venue and host many joyous weddings and personal celebrations throughout the year.
I want to say thanks to our generous sponsors, the former Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Nutter, and Councilman Jones. We are well onto the way of opening a newly built, state-of-the-art facility to host events all year long. The building has been affectionately named --