Updated:ATLANTA, Ga. —
Big stars like Chris Tucker, Jamie Foxx and Tyler Perry turned out Sunday night to celebrate Dr. Rev. Joseph E. Lowery’s birthday.
The 92nd birthday celebration on the campus of Morehouse College was almost canceled because of the recent death of his wife, Evelyn Lowery. But their daughter Cheryl, who runs the Lowery Institute, says her mother would have wanted the show to go on.
“We carry on because she spent her last six hours of her conscious life right at the Lowery Institute preparing for this celebration,” said Cheryl Lowery.
Pushed in a wheelchair, then standing at a podium, Dr. Lowery presented the inaugural Joseph E. Lowery Agent of Change Award to producer, actor, and director Tyler Perry.
“It’s not what you have, it’s where you’re going and what you hope to be,” said Lowery of Perry. “He has set a beautiful example.”
Perry said he was grateful for the award.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do was inspire, uplift, and encourage and to have this around my neck makes me want to run on a little bit further,” Perry said.
The night ended with a special appearance by Jamie Foxx, who kneeled down next to Dr. Lowery in his wheelchair at center stage.
“I want to do whatever I can to make sure I can shine as much light on your life, because you’ve shined so much light on ours,” said Foxx.
The night ended with the presentation of a large cake and the singing of “Happy Birthday.”