Dionne Warwick hardly knows Mark Dodd, the CEO of the Not Alone Foundation, but that didn’t stop the music icon from straightening out his suit before posing for photographers.
In her purple-tinted sunglasses and snazzy black skirt-suit, Warwick, 72, was a vision of pleasant professionalism as she prepared to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the foundation.
At Saturday’s Third Annual Diamond Awards, held at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Convention Hotel, Warwick was being celebrated for “being a global philanthropist as well as a music icon. Our luminaries are change agents,” Dodd said.
The Diamond Awards are primarily a fundraiser for Dodd’s Not Alone Foundation, which provides financial assistance and medical resources for those suffering from chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease.
Dodd is a Morehouse College alum who endured his own challenges to receive a kidney transplant.
“We’re about impacting your life,” Dodd said, “And I think [Warwick] found us very sincere in our efforts.”
Indeed, Warwick said in a quick chat before the ceremony, she was impressed by Dodd’s “sincere caring” when she was contacted via her niece to accept Dodd’s award and to learn more about the foundation.
“It’s very impressive what he’s been able to do in three years,” Warwick said.
In between tour dates to celebrate 50 years in the business, Warwick is starting work on another Dionne and Friends project, though she wasn’t ready to divulge any names. She intends to release it next year.
When asked if she would ever do something like “Celebrity Apprentice” again (she appeared on the 2011 season), Warwick smiled tightly.
“No,” she said.
So what does she still want to achieve at this stage in an illustrious career?
“Oh, there’s still the Oscar, the Emmy and the Tony!”
Among those also in attendance at Saturday’s event were ambassador and civil rights legend Andrew Young; singers NaCole Rice, Sherry Dukes Williams (who both performed at the awards) and Cristina Quinones; and actress Wendy Raquel Robinson.