Family confirms: Whitney Houston coming to Teen Summit
SHELBY — The secret is out — Whitney Houston is scheduled to attend this year’s Teen Summit.
Whitney’s sister-in-law and vice president for WhitNip Inc., Pat Houston, confirmed Tuesday that Whitney will be in Shelby this year.
“She has always wanted to come, but in the past her schedule has prevented her from coming,” Pat Houston said by phone from Detroit, where Whitney Houston is in pre-production for her upcoming movie, “Sparkle.”
“Shooting starts next week,” Pat Houston said. “We are going to take a break and come to Shelby. We are 100 percent sure she is coming.”
Although Whitney Houston plans to attend the summit, Pat Houston doesn’t want people to miss the point.
“Mentoring is in a state of emergency,” Pat Houston explained in an email. “Our communities across the nation are looking for solutions to make a change. We are that solution. I need you to help me to help others help themselves. We are just doing what we do best, and that’s serving you.”
Other celebrities who will perform and speak to youth at this year’s summit are Quinton Aaron from “The Blind Side,” gospel artist Kim Burrell, the Rev. Yolanda E. Thompson, author/inspirational speaker Gerard Henry, Dr. Shirley Shields, DeVon Franklin and others.
As the Teen Summit celebrates its fifth year, the anniversary represents a new chapter for Pat Houston.
“For the past four years, we have been raising awareness,” Pat Houston said. “Now we are going into phase two — raising money for the academy.”
The academy will be a place where youth from all over the country can come and receive support to “rebuild, restore and repair” and face life’s challenges, Pat Houston said.
The milestone is one of the reasons Whitney Houston wanted to attend this year. The other reason is the new line of candles Pat Houston is launching to help raise funds for the academy — “Marion P.: Fragrances from the Holy Land.”
“The candles are handmade in California, but will be shipped from Shelby. We’re hoping to manufacture in Shelby someday,” Pat Houston said.
Whitney Houston’s endorsement is printed in gold letters on the boxes for the fragrant candles.
“Marion is my name, and Whitney is the only one who calls me Marion P.,” Pat Houston said. “The candles are 100 percent soy and when you burn the candle, it turns into oil that you can dip your hands into and nourish the skin.”
Reach Jackie Bridges at 704-669-3337.