As she walked through the corridors of MGM Grand Detroit, everyone she passed first looked astonished, then warm smiles took over their faces. She didn’t know them, but they certainly all seemed to know her. They recognized her as Tootie, the adorable roller-skating adolescent from the TV show, “Facts of Life” or Regine, the sassy, socialite wanna-be from “Living Single,” whose departing word, “smooches,” made her a pop culture icon. Kim Fields, the actress, author, and director was in town last week, serving as keynote speaker for the 18th Anniversary Celebration of Jackets for Jobs.

“We always look for someone who will bring a powerful message to our clients,” says Alison Vaughn, founder and CEO of Jackets for Jobs. “I’ve always been a fan of Kim’s and I was told she was a great speaker. So we went after her. She did not disappoint.”

A little more than 300 people attended the sold-out breakfast event featuring traditional bacon, eggs, and fruit. A trio of Jackets for Jobs clients delivered emotional testimonials about the positive impact that the nonprofit organization carries and how it has affected their lives.

Jackets for Jobs opened its doors in 2000, providing career skills training, employment etiquette and professional clothing to job seekers. Since then, they have served well over 20,000 clients. The breakfast event, which took place Thursday, featured a fun fashion show from TJ Maxx with TJ Maxx employees as models and Fields’ impressive message on Speaking the Truth. This columnist served as master of ceremonies. Tickets were $40 per person. Visit

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and hosts “Chuck’s World” from 4-5 p.m. Saturdays on 910AM Superstation.

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