Tone Da'Man (TDM) Holds Second Annual Community Giveback Dinner
How many of us would give back knowing we just lost the most important people in our lives? During those times, individuals close up and try to escape reality, but rapper and community advocate Antonio Holmes, widely known as Tone Da’Man (TDM), took his pain and turned it into pure love.
This afternoon marked Holme’s Second Annual Community Giveback Dinner, where he provides hot meals to Milwaukee residents.
“It’s not about how many people I feed,” said Holmes. “It’s the actual impact I have on people who come in.”
The idea for the dinner came about after his great grandmother passed away. And, unfortunately, this year’s dinner was to also honor his mother who passed this year.
Holmes was taught to give and be kind to everyone, so that’s exactly what he’s doing. He provided hot meals with the help of family members and loved ones who helped cook the food. Holmes also had young leaders in the community—musicians, poets, activists, etc.—serving food to people.
The dinner was held at the Urban Ecology Center at Washington Park, 1859 N. 40th St. from noon to 4 p.m. Old school jams were playing in the background as families and friends joined together in laughter and a good time.
Holmes made it his duty to speak to everyone individually throughout the dinner.
Community member Sharon Johnson couldn’t afford a turkey this year, so she looked for local food pantries in hopes of finding food to make on Thanksgiving. When Johnson went to go pick her box of food, she met Holmes who carried the box of food to her car. He then invited Johnson to today’s dinner, and she made sure to show up.
Johnson didn’t come alone. She brought her nieces and nephews because she has a love for kids. Johnson was a drug-addict, but after losing her mom she noticed that although she was crying about the death, she didn’t feel anything. Johnson looked in the mirror and saw herself crying, but it didn’t feel like herself. She then decided to get her life together, and found a love for helping children who have lives they don’t deserve.
“I want to feed kids who don’t have anything to eat or nowhere to go,” she said.
Johnson is the mother of three—30, 21 and 19—and she says she takes her grandchildren every weekend, and whenever she gets some freetime.
Thanks to Holmes, Johnson and her family enjoyed in on some turkey, along with fried chicken, other foods, dessert and juice.
“I want to do what Tone’s doing,” Johnson said about doing her own community event one day. “He’s doing his job.”
Johnson is also a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in 2014, and went into remission in February of this year. She has two degrees in cooking, but most importantly she’s a fighter, Johnson said.
“Fight. Don’t ever stop,” she said. “I’m a winner.”
This dinner is just one of Holmes many events. Along with being a fighter for the community, Holmes is in the music business. At the Jazz Gallery, 926 E. Center St., starting at 7 p.m., Holmes will be performing music from his latest EP SET DA TONE (released Nov. 16) live on Nov. 24.
The event is free for those who RSVP only.
To RSVP to Holme’s release show click here.